30 child domestic workers rescued in Hyderabad

April 20th, 2008 - 12:08 am ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, April 19 (IANS) About 30 child labourers were rescued, including from the homes of senior government officials and those working with multi-national companies, during raids in upscale colonies here Saturday. About 250 officials from the labour department along with some representatives of NGOs rescued the children, majority of them girls, during raids in the posh Sringar and Kamlapuri colonies of Hyderabad city.

The raids were significant as several top officials and people from the film industry reside in the two areas. A girl child working as a maid in a top government official’s house was also rescued.

The raids led to an uproar as a section of residents, including few employees of multi-national companies, resisted the attempts by labour department officials. They had arguments with the officials, NGOs and media persons, who had reached the spot. Some of them even tried to attack media personnel and accused them of exaggeration.

A few influential people, who were caught employing children, tried to contact higher officials to prevent the raids.

Though no one was arrested, the labour department issued the employers notices. Hyderabad District Collector Navin Mittal also visited the area and told media persons that strict action would be taken against those employing children.

This is the first time that the labour department has conducted raids on a large scale. The raids came days after Mittal took over as the collector and decided to crack the whip against those violating the law.

According to officials, the city has more than 50,000 child labourers. A majority of them are working as domestic workers.

As part of their efforts to make Hyderabad child labour-free by 2010, the labour department has decided to impose hefty penalty of Rs.20,000 on child employers, in addition to jail-term.

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