NGO, cops rescue 33 child labourers, 8 factories sealed

Rahul (name changed) was found fixing the harmful filament of a bulb. He wore a torn shirt and worn slippers in one of the most hazardous factory premises in the capital.

His age didn’t favour the occupation and his tiny hands took a little longer, but he had no option.

Thirty-three such children have been rescued from bulb-making, shoe-stitching and bangle-making factories in west Delhi’s Mundka and Sonia Vihar in east Delhi.

The rescued kids were aged between seven and 15, and they belonged to the villages in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

Four employers have been arrested and eight factories have been sealed. Twenty-four kids have been rescued in Mundka when Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Punjabi Bagh), Delhi Police, Labour Department officials and members of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, an NGO, raided the premises of the bulb-making factories and scrap collecting units.

The arrested employers will be prosecuted under Indian Penal Code, Juvenile Justice Act and Child Labour Act, said the NGO.

According to the NGO, the children were working in hazardous job of segregation of electronic scrap from mobile phones and other electronics.

“Most of them worked for 12 hours a day and were found clad in bare minimum clothes, some even had large skin spots in legs indicating skin diseases in extreme unhygienic conditions,” said the NGO.

In another raid, nine children were rescued from seven bangle-making units in Sonia Vihar.
The rescued kids were promised Rs 5,000 per month, said the NGO. Samrat, 11-year-old, (name changed) said he was working in the factory for the last six months.

“I haven’t got regular salary. Sometimes, they pay me Rs 50 and sometimes Rs 100,” he said.

R S Chaurasia, Chairperson of the NGO, said child labourers in large number are working in small factories and unorganised sector in Delhi.

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