Child's work or Child's Play?:Food For Thought

It was in college that I had read about the micro-economic theory of utility which talks about decision making with regards to the choices you make for better a life style. Basically from what I remember and what my professor had explained, the gist of the theory goes on to explain how parents spend money on children as a means of investment, and hence their education and their other needs, with the belief and presumption that they will take care of them later on in life and repay it  . Before you sleep off, let me get into why I have picked up this heavy dosed discussion today. 

This theory however doesnt go down too well with our Indian sensibilities where, we have been told from time immemorial that the only love in the world that's unconditional is that of parents and children. But what if, instead of the parents it is the children who become their source of earnings? Sounds in-human isnt it? Well, it does the way it has been presented atleast! But is it that bad? Think about it?

I was browsing through Channels when this particular Promo on Imagine TV  of their upcoming show Haar-Jeet caught my attention. Do take a look at it for yourself.

Did that stir something in you? Well, it did to me when I watched it for the first time. We have watched Balika Vadhu, Kashi, Devi and various other such shows where little kids play lead protagonists before the older ones take over. But what stayed with me after seeing this promo, was the message that the makers were trying to convey through the show. 

This show atleast for now seems to be tackling issues like exploitation, greed, attraction towards sheen and glamour and hopefully the need for education that possibly would be dealt with during the course of the show. With a striking title like Haar-Jeet, the promo atleast speaks of the irony of losing out so much in the name of gaining short-term fame.

What happens when children become a means of your livelihood? Its good to recognise and encourage talent and tap someone young, but what happens when you become so greedy that you forget you are holding a child at ransom? 

What happens to these little children after the show comes to an end? I agree education is not the be all and end all of one's life. In todays times, where there are a million options, education, the need for schooling,tutoring and  mentoring has also become another choice you could make. But isn't there a reason why we are sent to school. Isn't that where we meet other people of our age, kind and type? Don't you get yelled at when you make a mistake? Don't you get graded when you perform well? Would TRPS of a show give you the same lessons? Would an older actor wanting to make it on his own, not force a little child to compete with him/her forcing her/him to become a part of the mad rat race? 

I wouldnt say, this is the only place where this could happen, it holds true for all those jobs of young domestic help, pani puri waala, paper waala as well as the little kids who are sent out to beg on the roads or even young boys and girls that are involved in sports and other activities. I am not here to make a moral argument! But the question I want to ask is, if the idea of the promo is to send a message across and to prove a point that this is wrong, is there no other way of showing it than using kids again to depict the same? 

Is TV viewing also meant to educate audience or is it merely a mode of entertainment? I throw the discussion open to you all. All feedback, positive and negative are most welcome!!!

Niharika Vidya Sagar



  1. That begs a question if this be not child labor and exploitation of children by the parents, media, etc? Especially when it comes to reality shows, I feel like puking at how they exploit those young kids and make them part of the fake glory and pop culture. Eeks!

  2. This is equal to pushy mothers with failed tinself dreams pushing their tiny tots and poppets into the arc lights for the sake of fame, glory, and money. Take Sridevi and Sarika - both exploited, over worked and even their earnings were misused by their families.

    I also wonder if these child artistes also have to go through the much maligned casting couch? Any idea what the industry, either films or this medium puts children through?


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