Twelve child labourers rescued

Twelve child labourers rescued

In a raid conducted in Narela industrial area, north west Delhi on Thursday, 12 children including seven girls were rescued from plastic manufacturing factories.

The children are between the ages of 8 to 15 and most of them belong to Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh and Sitamarhi district of Bihar.

They were involved in hazardous work of cutting and manufacturing of disposable plastic items with no pay for almost six months.

It is suspected that the children may have breathing ailments and other medical problems as they worked in unhygienic conditions.

The children were promised a salary of Rs 2,500 to 3,000 and were made to work for 12 hours.

They belong to poor families who had migrated to Delhi in the hope of better income opportunities.

They worked in deplorable conditions inside the factory surrounded by raw plastic scrap and slept in the same room.

Rescue operation

The rescue operation was led by Jitendra Yadav, sub-divisional magistrate, Narela accompanied by police, members of the labour department and activists of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

Lallan Singh, Deputy Labour Commissioner, Delhi, said: “The employers will be prosecuted under Minimum Wages Act and Child Labour Act and a fine of Rs 20,000 per child will be recovered as per the High Court directions.”

Singh added that the children will also benefit with the recovery of their pending wages.

Jitendra Yadav added that Delhi police has been working round the clock to ensure that children are safe and child labourers rescued even if there are no complaints lodged.

BBA has rescued approximately 1,253 children from Delhi since January 2011.

As many as 98 children have been rescued from Narela, 19 from Bawana and 53 from Sultanpur industrial area, since January 2010. All of them were working in the organised sector. “These children were employed in embroidery, footwear, plastic and electrical units.

“We welcome the orders of the High Court for prosecution of employers and recovery of back wages for the children,” said Rakesh Senger, activist with BBA.

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