A Poignant Tale of Destitute Children of India The poor, down-trodden and destitute child of the giant sub-continent are found pining away in the streets permeated with the soot and stained muck of the urban nerve centres . Their future is bleak, life is choked and their cursed fate is playing misery on them. The precious moments of childhood are lost in the four corner filthy smoke filled factories and in the streets of our country. His woes and cries have faded into the air often he remains neglected in the din and bust of the urban jungle. He has a sad story to convey- the poignant tale of a hapless poor Indian child. The children who belong to the lowest strata of the social order are always found in distress. His hardships are seldom given heed to, lest he remains oppressed from generation to generation. The generous law of the land has already initiated stringent measures to curb this pathetic state of affairs which the poor neglected children face even today. The welcome 93 rd amendment to the Constitution rightfully identified the significance of educating every child in the age group of 6 to 14 and has ensured that it should be given compulsorily and at free of cost. It is for the respective state governments to ensure that the intention as envisaged by the provision is followed in its letter and spirit. At present, many a legislations exist in this respect, among them a few prominent ones being Employment of Child Act, 1938, Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of children Act, 2000, the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act,1986, The Employment of Child Act, 1938 and Children Pledging of Labour Act, 1933. The law, as it stands today , is in a strong framework, the backbone of justice is solid, however, much more needs to be done in a true spirit before it can be termed as a huge achievement . The primary constraint in the implementation stage of free education to the children is the adequacy of funds. Since it involves a huge outlay of money, the state governments are passing through a financial crunch situation in this sector. Inadequacy of funds is a major hindrance in moving forward with its plans in free education for which the Central Government s intervention can make a huge difference. The Central - State Governments partnership is what should be an ideal steptowards thisand it can very much sustain the existence of the legislation and wipe out the child labour from the land. Discrimination in the form of gender bias plays a villain of the piece in crippling the various initiatives by educationists, social welfare activists and education programmes like District Primary Education Programme. Studies on various states across the country has thrown light on the fact that always it is the boy child who wins over the girl child in a choice over sending them into schools. the girl child is yet to see the light of the 21 st century which is evident from the 2001 census figures which shows that when 75.85 percent of the men are literate, the corresponding rate for women is only 54.16 per cent. It calls for launching a wide-spread awareness campaign with a target in bringing about an attitude change among the low class society on gender bias in the matter of educating their wards. The associated expenses of getting a free education like spending on dress, transportation and food is hardly affordable to the masses for whom the system is in place. Often the quality of education is compromised on grounds of poor package to the staff employed in schools and the poor facilities offered in school premises. The consequence is, the quality dwindles and hence triggers a rise in drop out rates among school goers. The inputs to the quality education can only be guaranteed when budget allocations are appropriately made to meet the requirements of the sector. The cumulative effect of the neglect and oppression the poor children face is they end up being thrown again into the labour market and domestic work in affluent families.The justification in support of this being cited as the families being benevolent in employing the children who can earn and support their respective families. This being the case the fact which they are not aware is that it is in the improvement of the children that the economic development of the country lies. It is high time the country and its people wake up from its decades long slumber to the protection and upliftment of our neglected and destitute kids and strive hard to rescue them from the pits of ignorance and misery. If the right measures in this regard are taken right now, it might be only be a decade from now the roots of child labour can be completely wiped out. Any attempt to achieve growth and prosperity, if it does not take into priority the welfare of children, is a failure in its worst form.