12 child labourers rescued, five held

Twelve child labourers were rescued and five traffickers arrested in north-west district of Delhi on Tuesday.

Police on Wednesday said six children were rescued from two sweet shops, two children from a Zari unit, two from a leather purse-making unit and a couple from roadside dhabas in Saraswati Vihar.

“Five people have been arrested from the location and we are investigating into the matter,” said Ajay Kumar, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Saraswati Vihar.

The rescue operations were led by two sub-divisional magistrates, S K Nigam in Daya Basti, Sarai Rohilla, and Ajay Kumar in Inder Enclave, Saraswati Vihar, accompanied by police, members from the Labour Department and a child rights group.

Santosh Kumar, Tehsildar, Sadar Bazar said the two children rescued by them  are from Bihar. They are aged 13 and 15. They were working in torn clothes for more than 12 hours with tea-stall owners.

Shyam (name changed), 13, was found shivering in a flimsy shirt on Tuesday- the coldest day of the season in Delhi- and embroidering a silk garment.
Police said they act immediately whenever they are informed about children working in miserable conditions across Delhi.

However, child rights activists allege that police sit on the information for long which gives the employers the advantage to relocate children to new places.

Allegations
“Instead of following the high court orders of investigating into any information within seven days, police extend the raid to a month or even more. By the time a raid is conducted, children are shifted from one place to another.

Plus, rehabilitation of children is also not being done by the Delhi government as the Child Welfare Committee district officers do not have any follow-up information about children who are rescued,” said Rakesh Senger, a child rights activist with Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

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