27 child workers rescued from hotels, factories

27 child workers rescued from hotels, factories

As many as 27 child labourers, including six girls, working in various hotels and factories were rescued on Saturday, in a joint operation conducted by ‘Bachpan Bachao,’ an NGO and the deputy commissioner of Bangalore Urban.

The children aged between 15 and 20, were appointed by an agarbathi factory, rubber company and a hotel in Preethinagar slum near Laggere in the City.

Based on a complaint by the NGO, the Urban DC raided an agarbathi factory and rescued about 15 children, four of whom were girls. They were brought from various  parts of the country and also from neighbouring country of Nepal. Five of the rescued children were from Odisha, while ten were from Jharkhand.

The children were brought to the office of the Urban DC before being produced before the child welfare committee (CWC). Some of them denied being forcibly made to work and said that they approached the employers on their own. “We went to the owner of the Shakti Rubber Factory at Preethinagar, requested him for work and there was no harassment at the workplace,” said a rescued boy from Mandya.

A boy brought from Nepal said he was paid Rs 6,000 a month to make agarbathis. Another boy said he was brought from Odisha and was being paid Rs 5,000 per month. He said he had been working in the factory for the past one month. Both the boys claimed that they were aged 20.

Two of the six girls said they were students and do not work. However, Vani of the ‘Bachpan Bachao’ clarified that the two girls used to work as part time helpers at the factory.

On the age claim of the boys, she said that the doctors who examined the boys had stated that only one boy among those rescued was above 18 years, and the rest were below 15 years of age. The boys were later sent to CWC for counselling.

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