Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As far as the parents of the child workers typical of these industries are concerned, we realise that we are here dealing with a class wholly illiterate, exceedingly poor and only too often heavily indebted. It is inevitable that to these the child's right to its childhood and even to such education as may be available should make no appeal comparable to that of its earning capacity, however small. There would appear in their case, as in that of the employers, no course open but that of compulsion by means of legislation so framed and so applied as to achieve the necessary end with the minimum of dislocation and hardship.
Yet we realise that far-reaching changes, which involve not only serious economic dislocation but also a radical alteration in social custom, cannot be achieved successfully, if imposed too drastically and rapidly. It is as essential to society as to industry to allow time for adjustment to new standards. If this is not done the true purpose of governmental interference is defeated, resulting either in 'paper' legislation or in legislation the very reality of which results in oppression and dislocation. The recommendations that follow are designed to achieve the desired end whilst avoiding both these dangers. For this reason, while many reforms in these factories are desirable, we would concentrate in the first instance on the two most outstanding and urgent needs, namely, protection of the child and the elimination of the worst dangers to the health of the workers generally.