139 child labourers rescued in New Delhi

16th July, 2011, New Delhi:  Eight children, working in a jewellery shop in punjabi basti, Nangloi and sweet shop was rescued during a rescue operation in the capital today. The rescue was conducted on a complaint filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan. The rescue operation was led by Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Punjabi Bagh.

Child labourers in India

Child labour, although illegal, is still rife in parts of India

The youngest amongst the rescued is Ravi, who is just 8 years of age. He said, ” We had to start working early in the morning. I used to work so hard that sometimes i don’t know whether its day or night. My employer never used to pay me my wages. Whenever we used to ask for wages, he used to tell us that he would pay only when we go back to our homes.”

During the operation in these units, 5 employers were arrested. The SDM said that the employers will be prosecuted and the rescued victims will be brought to justice, rehabilitated and brought into formal education.

In another joint rescue operation carried out by the District Task Force on elimination of child labour, Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Salaam Baalak Trust, 31 children who were working in hazardous condition in a bag making factory was rescued today. The rescue operation was led by Sub Divisional Magistrate of Karol Bagh, Mr. Radhe Sham.

The rescue operation was carried out in Navi Karim area near Paharganj, Delhi. The children were indulged in making leather bags and ladies purse.

These children used to work for 14- 15 hours a day, without any wages, just two square meals a day. Most of the children were suffering from cough and cold. When asked about any medication given to them, they said that they were not given any medicine, rather they were forced to work more.

In the rescue operation, 8 employers have been arrested. The personnel of Labour Department informed that all the employers are liable to pay Rs. 20, 000 to the children under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

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R.S. Chaurasia, Chairperson, BBA expressed his satisfaction over the arrest of the employers. He further said, “There should be continuous rescue operations so that child labour is eliminated totally from Delhi but the main problem is the rehabilitation of these children. According to a RTI information obtained by BBA, more than 3.4 cr. rupees for rehabilitation and education of children are lying unspent with the government. If rehabilitation measures are not taken than there is a high probability of these children being trafficked again”

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