37 bonded child labourers rescued from zari factory in Delhi

May 28th, 2009 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) As many as 37 bonded child labourers were rescued from a zari (embroidery) factory in north-east Delhi Thursday, an NGO said.
Mostly hailing from Bihar or across the border, in Nepal, the children were found in a poor condition — a result of making the nimble fingers work endlessly and keeping them cooped up in a tiny room devoid of any fresh air or sunshine for days together.

According to the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), the NGO which helped the police and the labour department in the rescue operation, most of the children were being trafficked to the capital after their parents were lured with money and promises of a bright future for their children.

Eleven-year-old Mohammad Jubair for instance said that the trafficker came to his father with Rs.500 and promised that if allowed to take his son to the city, not only will he earn double, but also lead a much better life.

“I used to love going to school and was in Class 3 when I was brought to the city by this person. It has been two years now that I have been working here and all that he promised my father was a lie. We were made to work in a small and dingy room and my fingers ached every time I put a wrong stitch as the needle would pierce my skin,” Jubair said.

“We were made to work from early morning to late at night and at times even the whole night. Now I just want to forget all that and go home. I also want to go to school again,” he added.

Kailash Satyarthi of the BBA said: “What a paradox it is that on one hand India voted for a good government where the power of youth is much celebrated, but on the other hand there are children and youth who are trafficked for Rs.500 or 1,000 and sold at a lesser price than a goat in the capital of India!”.

“People who wear flashy and heavy embroidered saree, lehanga and shervani in weddings, festivals and other auspicious occasions should keep in mind that these are the products of a child’s labour,” he added.

The rescued children have been given release certificates under the Bonded Labour Act which entitles them to a rehabilitation package of Rs.20,000.

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