Child rights activist and Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has asked the business community to do business with compassionate intelligence, saying that no industry can thrive while harming the society and environment.
Satyarthi, who was in Indore on Friday to take part in a function organised by the Indore Management Association, told newspersons that industrialists and businessmen are an emerging force who exercise greater influence on government.
"Government now talks to them directly, something which happened behind the screens till some years back. Civil society and the youth are other emerging forces. There is a need to address trust deficit prevailing among them (to make them work for child labour eradication). We need business solutions to social problems," he remarked.
However, he declined to comment on the Union cabinet's recent decision which allows children below 14 years to work for their family business or profession.
"I will not be able to comment unless it is tabled in Parliament. But I will meet Prime Minister, the minister concerned in this connection," he said.
Adding that the spread of child education is not possible without eradicating child labour, he said that only two out of 1,000 child workers are orphans in country and it is shameful if society cannot take care of them.
"What are religions for? How are we then a welfare state if we cannot take care of those two orphans?" he said in response to a query and referred to non- implementation of welfare schemes meant for orphans.
Responding to another query on child trafficking in quake-hit Nepal, he said his organisation (Global March Against Child Labour) is actively working in the Himalayan nation while he is in constant touch with senior officials there.
Citing figures, he said the child trafficking and prostitution is $180 billion dollar business while their education costs $2 billion dollars.
"Child trafficking and girl prostitution is a business in which police, politicians are involved. I have come across children who were sold at lesser rates than cows and buffaloes."
Satyarthi, who has freed more than 87,000 children from bonded labour since 1981, said child labour promotes poverty, unemployment and diseases.
There are 17 crore child labourers and 20 crore unemployed adults in Asia and Africa.
"And most of these adults are parents of child labourers," he said.