An Indian woman holds the hand of her eight-year-old daughter after she hammered her finger last year while breaking rocks on the banks of a river in Siliguri, India.
Injuries are common among child laborers, and can be devastating. "They have no safety net, no insurance, no medical care," education advocate Anil Shah said. "If they get hurt, they don't get paid."
Most of the children who work in cities like Mumbai (Bombay) and Delhi come from far-away rural villages, where unscrupulous agents often recruit the kids.
But the majority of child laborers in India are employed on rural farms, where they may work with their families. "At harvest time, some rural schools can be completely empty of children," Shah said.
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Photograph by REUTERS/Desmond Boylan