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Michaela Haas

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World Day Against Child Labor: From Brick Kiln to ABC

Posted: 06/12/11 03:04 PM ET

On World Day Against Child Labor on June 12, the international nonprofit Lotus Outreach will celebrate 400 child workers in India who enrolled in school for the first time in their lives. While Lotus Outreach has many projects designed to keep children in school and out of work, the brick kiln kids illustrate this reality most starkly. As many as 80 million children work in India, many of them in 14 hour shifts with no shelter from the sun. While many of them never learn to read, these 400 children will have a happier future. I hope you will take the time to remember the faces and families you see here.

Shaping 1,500 Bricks Each Day
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Six year-old Kapil Devi and his brother Manoj, 10, had their work cut out for them: carrying as much clay and gravel as they could possibly balance on their heads. Crouching in the hot sun in Mewat, north India, where temperatures climb above 100º F, they shaped about 1,500 bricks each day in old-fashioned molds.
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