When you think of your childhood, you may fondly remember those days filled with lots of study time and even more playtime. Sadly, this isn’t the reality of many children across the world, who are burdened with the responsibility of fending for themselves. They miss out on a necessary education and are thus hindered from better livelihoods in their future. Even in our country, child labor is a grave issue. Wherever you go, you see children doing odd jobs of some kind or the other to sustain themselves and their families. While kids involved in simple tasks such as serving customers in a restaurant or washing cars do not raise eyebrows, this is the basis of a much larger evil prevalent in our society. Bollywood, too, has attempted to raise its voice against child labor for many years now, with movies touching upon the social issue. Let’s take a look at some of the films that have portrayed the severity of this issue in our society.

Boot Polish

One of the first movies to deal with child labor, Boot Polish shows how two kids, after the death of their mother, are forced to beg by their aunt. Later, with the help of a bootlegger, they buy a shoe polish kit and begin to shine shoes, thus working instead of begging for a living.

Streaming on: MX Player

Salaam Bombay!

Directed and co-written by Mira Nair along with Sooni Taraporevala, this critically acclaimed film was nominated at the Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category. The story is set is a red-light area of Mumbai, where young girls are forced into prostitution and young boys are made to beg, steal, and do many other odd jobs for their employers.

Streaming on: YouTube

Slumdog Millionaire

This award-winning movie portrays the lives of children dwelling in slum areas. Some of these kids are abducted by gangsters and trained to beg for a living. Children as young as seven are blinded in order to gain sympathy from people, who are likely to pay them more due to their condition.

Streaming on: YouTube

I am Kalam

A 12-year-old plays a tea vendor and server at a roadside dhaba, but dreams to make it big in life. The movie effectively portrays how kids from any background are capable of fulfilling their dreams. The film was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

Streaming on: Netflix

Nanhe Jaisalmer

A popular movie for kids, this psychological drama opened up conversations on love, loss, discovery, courage, wonder, acceptance, innocence, hope, and relief. It follows the life of the young boy Nanhe, who is a tourist guide and self-proclaimed camel jockey.

Streaming on: Zee5

Chillar Party

The Salman Khan production was enjoyed by kids and parents alike for its ‘childlike humor with a message’ theme. However, etched between the lines was the story of a boy named Fatka, who worked as a car washer for a living.

Streaming on: Netflix

Stanley Ka Dabba

This critically acclaimed film follows the story of a fourth-grader who cleans tables at a restaurant to earn money to stay in school. Often abused by his employer at work, at school, Stanley is bullied by his teacher, who constantly demands food from the students.

Streaming on: Hotstar

Movies like these not only provide entertainment but also educate us about the many issues in society that do not impact us harmfully. It is an era of acknowledging privilege and working towards a better society and these movies help us do just that. Click on the image below for more movie recommendations!

Gujarati comedy films - BookMyShow