Thirty child labourers rescued

Kids made to work for 12 to 14 hours with a break of just half an hour

Delhi Police, in association with the labour department and NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, rescued 30 child labourers, aged between seven and 16 years, and arrested four of their employers on Monday.

The children were employed in inhuman conditions at an embroidery unit at the Garhi in Lajpat Nagar.

Mostly from Madhubani, Darbhanga and Sitamarhi districts of Bihar and Barbanki district of Uttar Pradesh, the children were allegedly made to work for 12 to 14 hours a day, with as little as half-an-hour break in between.

Their employers had restricted their movements and they were forced to work in closed rooms, thus compelled to eat, sleep and work in the same room. In fact, 16 children were found working in 10x4 rooms.

Mannu (name changed), a 12-year-old boy from Bihar who was rescued, had been brought to the Capital for sightseeing by a man from his village. A few days after arrival, the man asked him to shuffle between work and education. However, though he was working at the embroidery unit, he was not enrolled in any school. Moreover, the man left him in the city never to come back.

The boy had allegedly been working at the unit for two months and without receiving any remuneration for his work. The kid was elated on being rescued and said, “I am very happy that I am going back home to see my parents. I will go back to school.”
Kailash Satyarthi, founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, under whose complaint the raid was conducted, accused the labour department of negligence due to which child labour was thriving in the area.

“This is the sixth raid in Garhi since 2009 and children are still found to be working here. This shows that there is lack of fear among the factory owners. Hence, more stringent steps should be taken to punish the culprits,” he said.

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