34 trafficked child labourers rescued in Delhi

October 24th, 2008 - 5:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) In yet another raid, 34 trafficked bonded child labourers, all of seven or eight years old, were rescued from zari (embroidery) units in Delhi.Barely clothed and exhausted after endless days of labour, the children lived in tiny, suffocating rooms with hardly any light. Sadam, a seven-year-old rescued in the raid, said he was brought to Delhi from the Sitamarhi district of Bihar after the middlemen paid a sum of Rs.1,500 to his parents.

“I and the other boys were made to work from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. at night and even then treated very badly by our employers. They used to come drunk during night and if our work was not complete properly, they used to beat us up,” he said.

The rescued children were trafficked either from Bihar or Nepal.

Kailash Satyarthi of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), which helped the police conduct raids and rescue the kids, said it’s a shame that despite 12 such raids in the last two years in the same area of North East Delhi, the culprits don’t seem to have been discouraged.

“Not a single trafficker or employer has ever been put in jail and no efforts have been made to check influx of trafficked children in the area despite raids which proved that the crime has been committed time and again,” Satyarthi said.

“Unless deterrent action is taken or unless the officials are held accountable for perpetuating the crime, this menace would continue,” he added.

The rescued children will be given a release certificate under the Bonded Labour Act and a rehabilitation package of Rs.20,000. They will also be enrolled in the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) schools.

According to BBA, there are over 50,000 children working in different zari manufacturing units in Delhi.

“Despite several orders from the Delhi High Court, children continue to be employed. This is against the spirit of the law and Constitution of India. We want a situation where the state takes a firm step and removes children from these units at the earliest,” Satyarthi said.

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