festival of trees

Future Powerhouse: India

A girl carries sand in the city of Siliguri
REUTERS/Kamal Kishore

India is being hailed as a future economic powerhouse, yet 1.2 million children under five die from malnutrition every year. Child labour is outlawed, but tens of millions are forced to work to help feed their families or pay loan sharks.

  • Rights groups estimate 60 to 115 million children work.
  • More than 2 million children under five die each year.
  • Malnutrition affects nearly half of under fives.
  • Diarrhoea is the second biggest child killer.
  • Children have been uprooted by violence in Kashmir and the northeast.
  • Thousands of unborn girls are aborted.
"We used to go through the garbage fields to look for glass, plastic and other recyclable materials. We collected about 10 rupees for each bag containing a kilo of this material."
Samsur Mohamad, 13, interviewed by UNICEF

Laila Rouass Investigates Child Labor in India