Rampura, a remote district inhabited by a tribal population, is marked by extreme backwardness and abject poverty. Agriculture is the mainstay of the local population, though it is primarily subsistence due to the very small land holdings. There is insignificant industrial or mining activity. Even the targeted welfare programs have inadequately benefited the tribal population. In this restrictive scenario, the youth has begun to migrate to other states to supplement the family income. Plight of minor girls is that their parents are persuaded by labour contractors to send them to work in the Bt Cotton farms of a nearby state. The soft fingers of the minor girls are well suited for plucking the cotton. The inadequate living and working conditions in these farms have caused serious health issues for the minor girls. NGOS in the districts of domicile and the cotton farms appear to be compromised and have not effectively espoused the twin issues of child labour and development of the area.
You are appointed as the District Collector of Rampura. Identify the ethical issues involved. Which specific steps will you initiate to ameliorate the conditions of minor girls of your district and to improve the over-all economic scenario in the district? (250 words)

Ethical issues involved:

  • The use of child labor in the cotton farms is a violation of children’s rights and is considered an unethical practice.
  • The inadequate living and working conditions in these farms are causing serious health issues for the minor girls, which is an ethical concern.
  • The fact that NGOs in the district and in the cotton farms appear to be compromised and have not effectively advocated for the twin issues of child labor and development of the area also raises ethical concerns about accountability and transparency.

Steps to ameliorate the conditions of minor girls and improve the overall economic scenario in the district:

  • Conduct an investigation into the use of child labor in the cotton farms and take necessary legal action against the labor contractors and farm owners involved.
  • Work with relevant government agencies to ensure that the children are removed from the cotton farms and provided with appropriate rehabilitation services.
  • Develop and implement policies and programs to address the root causes of child labor in the district, such as poverty and lack of education and job opportunities.
  • Strengthen the capacity of local NGOs and other civil society organizations to advocate for the rights of children and the development of the district.
  • Facilitate income-generating activities, such as vocational training and micro-finance schemes to help families improve their economic situation, reduce poverty and alleviate the pressure on their children to migrate.
  • Implement policies and schemes that focus on sustainable development and diversification of economy in the district to provide better livelihood opportunities to the people.
  • Promote the education of girls and increase access to educational opportunities in the district.
  • Collaborate with other government agencies and stakeholders to ensure that the welfare schemes reach the needy people and that the development programs are inclusive and take into account the specific needs of the tribal population.
Mind map notes for UPSC
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