CHILDREN BEAR THE BRUNT OF NEGLIGENCE OF THE UNORGANISED SECTOR: A STUDY IN BRICK-KILNS OF HOOGHLY DISTRICT, WEST BENGAL
Background: Brickfields belong to the unorganised sector and the workers are neglected, living in utterly poor conditions.The objective of the study was to assess the problems of their children with special emphasis on their nutritional status and the morbidity pattern. Methods: It was a cross-sectional, observational type of study on 86 children of up to 14 years of age belonging to three randomly selected brickfields of Singur Block(Hooghly District), West Bengal.The parents of the children were interviewed and clinical examination done on the children. Results: Data were analysed using SPSS software 17.0 version. Forty nine (57%) children were malnourished.On examination and on previous two weeks recall it was observed that sixty six (77%) children had one or more morbidities. Pallor was the most common morbidity (70%), followed by ARI (18.6%) and diarrhoea (9.3%).School attendance was 12% and child labor was found in 20% children. Conclusion: The children live in unimaginably poor conditions deprived of all basic amenities. Due attention must be given to these children regarding adequate social security and comprehensive health care.