Childline rescues four child labourers

Four children, all aged below 14 years, were rescued from Javaregowda Doddi, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, by BOSCO Childline on Monday.

The children, brought to the City four months ago, were illegally employed for plastic bag segregation, taken from open gutters. The Rajarajeshwari Nagar police assisted the rescue operation.

After a tip-off on child labourers, the Childline team rushed to the spot. They found the children washing the segregated plastic covers in waste water. The water was highly polluted with chemical particles. Rajendra Prasad brought the children to the City from Navadha district in Bihar (the children referred to him as ‘Sethu’).

Prasad, also their employer, had promised the children a monthly salary of Rs 3,000. They were made to work 14 hours a day, from 6 am to 8 pm.

“The work area of the children was not visible as it was covered with sheets. The team eventually managed to enter the area through a small gate. Big plastic bags with chemicals were found inside. It was the children’s responsibility to wash the chemicals out of the polythene bags for reselling,” a BOSCO volunteer told Deccan Herald.

The team also discovered that the children were housed in an unhygienic shed adjacent to their work area. “The children said that after reaching Bangalore, they were not allowed to go out anywhere. They did not expect this kind of work. When they pleaded with the employer to let them return home, the latter would shout at them,” a volunteer explained.

The children were allowed to bathe once in 15 days. Food was provided twice a day, and stink rose from the work area as they had to wash the plastic in dirty water. The rescue team could not confront the employer, as he had gone out.

“But the children have provided information to the police based on which, further action will be taken by the police and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) members,” informed a volunteer.

All the four rescued children were later produced before the CWC for further action. A similar operation by BOSCO in Panthrapalya in 2013 had rescued 38 children engaged segregation of plastic along the sewage line.

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