Children make their beds at a home operated by "Free the Children," an Indian nongovernmental organization, at Madhamgram village in India on August 5, 2006.
"The new government law is the result of lobbying by many organizations," said Anil Shah of the advocacy group Pratham. "This legislation is a step in the right direction, because it allows social workers to use the law to rescue these children."
Shah's organization works on improving the quality of education in India. It has implemented a novel program that aims to teach children how to read and write in eight weeks. The group also educates parents living in rural villages about the dangers of sending their children to work.
"India is changing a lot, and people are becoming more and more socially aware," he said. "I'm more optimistic now than I was a few years ago that this is something we can get rid of."
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Photograph by REUTERS/Parth Sanyal