Child labor in India: A 12 year old girl died from 150km walk back home

The 12-year-old girl, a victim of Child Labor in India, suffered from severe dehydration while trying to go home on foot for three days.

A victim of Child Labor in India

India’s low-income families are heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. With businesses, factories, labor establishments in nearby villages are being shut down temporarily, with workers having a hard time finding sources of food.

Help from the government is slow and insufficient. Families from poor villages in the outskirts of India are barely making it through the day with the food they have in hand. Aid from the government sometimes doesn’t even make it to these secluded areas where poorer families are residing.

Two months ago, Jamlo Makdam, a 12-year-old girl, went to Telangana in Bijapur District to work for a chili field plantation. Poverty is one of the main reasons for child labor in India, and this girl is just one of many that got stuck in this situation.

When the COVID-19 outbreak worsened in India, establishments were forced to shut down, and the labor force was suspended. Having no food and shelter, these migrant workers decided to return to their villages on foot.

The long and painful journey home

Jamlo, along with eight women and three other victims of child labor in India, the group traveled on foot back to their villages. After traveling almost 150km for three days, Jamlo’s body collapsed out of extreme dehydration and malnutrition.

According to her companions, Jamlo was already vomiting and suffering from stomach ache before she finally collapsed. She was just almost 14km away from her home when her body finally let down.

The state government of India has provided burial assistance to the family and 1 lakh rupees ($1,300) as compensation for their loss.

The Government of India is now looking into the situation of migrant workers stranded on places away from their homes. They are assuring them of government assistance such as food and shelter, just to limit their movements amid the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.


Featured image by Terre des Hommes