47 child labourers saved

'Childhood killed for sake of flourishing global brands'

Rahim, a nine-year-old, was at a loss of words when enquired about his family in his native village in Darbhanga district in Bihar. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he kept repeating his desire to go to his real home.

His complexion has turned dark as he was made to toil hard for over 16 hours a day in a iron-box manufacturing unit in Karawal Nagar in north-east Delhi.

Doctors have also diagnosed him with Tuberculosis.

Forty-seven child labourers were rescued in raids in capital on Thursday and Friday - and almost every child has a similar story to tell. Of those rescued, 35 kids are less than 14 years old, and rest are aged from 14 to 18.

Twenty minors were rescued from four shoe factories in west Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh area on Friday. And 27 child labourers were rescued from 11 units manufacturing iron tools in Karawal Nagar on Thursday.

These kids hail from Uttar Pardesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

The raids were carried out by the Delhi Task force, the city police, labour department and members of child rights group Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

“Even the CRPF had to be called for the rescue operation as the areas involved were too hostile,” said founder of BBA, Kailash Satyarthi.

“Ten owners were arrested in yesterday’s raid and today, three other owners have been nabbed.”

The defaulting employers have been booked under Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
All the rescued children are sent to Transit Rehabilitation Centre, Mukti Ashram by the orders of the Child Welfare Committee, Dilshad Garden and Rohini.

Satyarthi said, “Many major international brands are flourishing at the cost of freedom and education of Indian children and thus destroying their childhood. These brands can not hide behind the excuse of complexity of supply chain management.”

“They are the principal employers and have to have to be booked under appropriate laws. It should be investigated that, for whom these children are really working,” he added.

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