Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Children under 12 may not be employed in factories. The Act of 1922 provides that persons between the ages of 12 and 15 years, subject to their being certified as physically fit, may be employed for not more than 6 hours a day. The ages for half-timers were 9 to 14 years before that date, and the maximum hours were 6 in textile factories and 7 in others. Children working for the full day of 6 hours must have a rest period of half an hour, so arranged as to prevent more than 4 hours continuous work, but if the day is restricted to 5 1/2 hours' work, no interval is necessary. Some difficulty has arisen from the practice of employing children under different names and with different certificates in two factories on the same day. It is almost impossible to prove that a manager is knowingly employing children who are also employed elsewhere, and in 1926 the legislature added to the Factories Act a section making it possible to prosecute the parent or guardian of the child who is employed in two mills. Special vigilance and the use of this section have combined to eliminate or greatly to reduce the evil in the Ahmedabad cotton mills, where the practice was formerly prevalent, but similar action does not appear to have been taken in the Bengal jute mills, where certifying surgeons report the existence of a similar abuse. We recommend that special and continuous attention should be given to this matter by the local Government and its officers. Persons who are 15 years or over are treated as adults. Recent years have seen a tendency to employ fewer children, and child labour has been replaced by adult labour and particularly women's labour. The proportion of women employed in factories to the total number of operatives has risen, as that of children has fallen: the latter is now below 4 per cent. For reasons we have already given and because many children do not come to the industrial areas till full-time work is available for them, we regard this as a commendable tendency.