58 child labourers rescued in capital

Factories, placement agency had hired them

Ten-year-old Nadeem was not visibly happy after being rescued from an electric appliance-making unit in Badli where he was made to work for long hours under subhuman conditions.

His reaction was palpable when he admitted that he did not remember the name of his village, or his parents or even the identity of people who brought him there.

 Law enforcement authorities who rescued 58 children from six different locations on Tuesday are yet to find out who trafficked Nadeem to this factory in Badli.

Acting on a complaint filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), a child rights group, on the eve of World Against Child Labour, law enforcement authorities have rescued the children from six different locations in the capital .

Fifty-six boys had been working in various factories engaged in making plastic coolers, fans, and polishing whereas two girls were helps.

Rescue operations were carried out in five different factories and at a placement agency running under the garb of welfare organisation.

Most of the child labourers rescued were trafficked to work as bonded labourers from West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh after paying advance to their parents.

The rescued girls belong to UP. Having worked from 8 am till late night in small, dark, and dingy room with no proper ventilation with little or no medical care has caused skin rashes and wounds on their body especially on their hands.

“The children were not allowed to even speak to their parents without the employer’s permission. On an average, the children were getting Rs 50 to 100 per week as wages,” said Kailash Satyarthi, founder of BBA. “We strongly demand that child labour must be made a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Special courts should be set up to take time-bound action. A fine of at least Rs 1,00,000 ought to be recovered from each erring employer and an effective rehabilitation must be guaranteed under the law,” he added.

S C Yadav, deputy labour commissioner (north-west) said, “We will keep conducting such raids in future as well. The fine of Rs 20,000, according to Supreme Court’s order, will be recovered from every employer along with all the back wages.”

Satyarthi said, “When the world observes the Day Against Child Labour on Wednesday, over 215 million children would be languishing in various forms of child labour including slavery in its ugliest form. The startling fact is that over 200 million adults are without jobs.”

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