The government passes the laws, and it has to ensure that these laws are implemented or enforced.
As lawmaker and enforcer, the government has to ensure that laws implemented.
Law enforcement becomes important when the law seeks to protect the weak from the strong.
In this cartoon, we can see a woman condemning the ‘cruel burdening of kids’, but at the same time she herself is burdening another child. This cartoon conveys the message that mere making of laws is not enough until and unless each one of us understands our responsibility and acts accordingly.
In October 2006, the government amended the Child Labour Prevention Act, banning children under the age of 14 years from working as domestic helps, or as workers in dhabas, restaurants, tea shops, etc. It made employing these children as a punishable offence. This cartoon clearly depicts the violation of this Act.
Earlier, there was very little or no awareness about environmental issues. There was indiscriminate cutting of forests, killing of wildlife, disposal of wastes into rivers and so on. Factory owners bothered the least about the environment.
Today the perception regarding environmental issues has totally changed. People have understood the importance of a clean environment. They have understood that this planet has to be conducive for our future generation to survive. Industrial development cannot be at the cost of human lives. The Bhopal gas tragedy has been an eye opener. The courts also gave a number of judgments upholding the right to a healthy environment as intrinsic to the Fundamental Right to life.
The legislature is supposed to frame laws to protect people from any type of exploitation. Government appoints different types of employees and officials to enforce its laws and regulations. Those found guilty of violating these laws are arrested by the police or other departments. They are taken to courts (court of laws or consumers courts etc.). Punishment is awarded to law-breakers by the judiciary. It is the duty of the government to ensure that workers get payment in accordance with Minimum Wages Law. The government also has to see that children below 14 years are not exploited. The government also has to ensure that women workers are paid equally as men. Finally, the government has to keep revising the Minimum Wages Law from time to time.
Laws can ensure that markets work in a fair manner in the following ways –
The victims of Bhopal gas tragedy have not yet got justice. Initially, the Union Carbide had refused to accept any responsibility altogether, despite so many clear proofs. The UC got away after paying a bare minimum compensation to the survivors of this tragedy. Even after 24 years, the survivors are still fighting for justice, for safe drinking water, for health-care facilities and jobs for those affected by the tragedy. Their cases are still pending in numerous courts.
The main reason why foreign companies come to India is cheap labour. Wages that the companies pay to workers in developed countries are far higher than what they have to pay to workers in poorer countries like India. For lower pay, companies can get longer hours of work. Additional expenses such as for housing facilities are also lesser. Thus, companies can save costs and earn higher profits.
Another reason is that any risk of pollution and harmful radiations is also exported to other countries. Union Carbide gas tragedy in Bhopal is an example of how Indian people became victims of the poisonous gases that leaked from the plant owned by a US company.
Sources of environmental pollution with respect to:
(a) Air –
ii. Factory chimneys
(b) Water –
i. Disposal of dead bodies
ii. Factory waste
(c) Soil –
ii. Chemical fertilizers
Awareness regarding environmental issues has been increased in recent times. Courts in our country have also come up with several orders over the environmental issue. The Delhi government had recently introduced the odd-even numbers car policy to reduce vehicular movement on the road. Many river cleaning projects are also going on.
Here are some suggestions that may improve the environment further: