Dawn News

Child labor, a serious problem in Karachi: welfare organisation
A Pakistani children weaves carpet. — Photo by AP

KARACHI: Karachi is a home to around 1.5 million child workers, contributing to their family income, through engagement in wide range of units including auto workshops, cottage industries, and road side hotels.

According to a report compiled by Sahar Foundation these young souls could also be witnessed working as loaders at different shopping centers, particularly at vegetable and fruit markets and weekly bazaars.

Average age of these children was identified to be between seven to 14 years and they mainly pertained to large sized families, with their parents absolutely illiterate and largely un-skilled thus unable to make proper and sustainable earning to raise their children.

Sahar Foundation which is working for the up liftment of street children and child workers after a thorough survey regarding the immediate needs of these children had arranged series of medical camps.

These camps include those children who were suffering from asthma, ENT diseases, skin diseases, eye and other infections.

The exercise was equally focussed on educating the children as how to prevent these health conditions and identify plausible symptoms of these ailments.

As per report, the children visiting the camps for diagnosis and treatment of asthma in main city area were found to have a disease incidence rate around six per cent to 17 per cent.

Their direct exposure to different types of atmospheric pollution, including those discharged by vehicles, industrial units and smoke caused due to burning of waste goods were registered to be the main culprit.

Children working at auto-workshop were reported with highest number of asthma and other chest infections, said the compilers of the report.

Cigarette smoking and increased exposure to passive smoking was also registered among these children.

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