Gambler sells son to settle debt

Gambler sells son to settle debt

Juvenile becomes drug addict in Moradabad

When members of the Child Welfare Committee caught 14-year-old Kishore at Moradabad railway station, along with 13 other children, all aged around 14, during a drive on Friday, they were unaware of his story.

The members were shocked to know that Kishore, now a drug addict, had been ‘sold’ by his father to a wealthy farmer in the neighbouring Budaun district to pay a debt losing a bet.

Kishore told CWC members that his father, who was a habitual gambler, had lost Rs 3,000 in gambling. “When the winner insisted on payment,  my father asked him to keep me in exchange for the money,” he said.

Kishore, who was third among seven siblings, was made to work in the fields like a slave by the man. “One day I managed to flee from the clutches of my master and reached Moradabad,” he told them.

Kishore joined a band of young boys selling water in re-cycled  bottles to train passengers. 

“We used to collect the water bottles thrown by passengers on the railway lines, fill them with water and sell them again,” he said.

He and other children were all drug addicts. “The drugs, which they call whitener, are easily available at shops around the station. A small pack costs Rs 5 to 10 only,” he said.

CWC president Dr Vishesh Gupta said all these children needed to be treated at de-addiction centres. 

“We are trying to trace Kishore’s parents and inform them about him so that he may be united with his family,” Gupta said. 

He added that he had asked a senior police officials to take stern action against shops selling contraband around the station. 

He also said such exercises would be regularly conducted at railway stations and other places.

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