Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We have already shown in an earlier part of this chapter how the first Indian Factories Act started with the regulation of child labour and how each succeeding Act for several decades improved upon those regulations, not only by raising the age at which children might work in a factory, but also by reducing their maximum working hours and by postponing the age at which they should be regarded as adults. Where the regulation is concerned of child labour in factories employing 50 persons and upwards but employing no power machinery, we are confronted with a position comparable with that of the power-driven factories half a century ago. In such places there has hitherto been no regulation as to either the starting age or the maximum hours of labour, and a considerable volume of employment exists throughout the country of children of tender years for excessive hours. Unfortunately, as we have shown, there is in many cases, though not in all, an easy avenue of escape from such regulation, particularly in a country where compulsory education is still the exception rather than the rule. Realising, therefore, the necessity of educating both employers and parents to a higher standard of consideration for child welfare, and for the passing only of such legislation as is capable of enforcement, we recommend that the starting age for children in such places shall in the first instance be 10 years.