Patna, May 5 : Bachpan Bachao Andolan(BBA), an NGO, and officials of state labour department in a joint effort rescued 11 child labourers from a worksite at Arra in Bihar's Bhojpur district recently.
The child labourers, aged between 12 and 14 years, were brought from various places of Bhojpur district besides two from West Bengal. The children hailed from lower economic strata of the society and the contractors had engaged them at a construction site of a road overbridge at Arra.
''The voluntary act would change the course of life of the children, who used to work under sub-human conditions,''BBA secretary Ajay Singh said.
The rescued children would be rehabilitated and those who were willing among them would be sent to schools, he assured.
However, every child rescued in the joint raid on April 30 has his own story to tell.
Take the case of 14 year old Lal Bahadur Saday.
State Labour Commissioner K K Mahto told UNI here that the department would initiate legal proceedings against the executing agency of the railway overbridge, Bihar Bridge Construction Corporation (BRCC). BRCC is an undertaking of the state government.
BRCC chairman Amrit Pratyaya said he would inquire into the matter, and stern action would be taken if anybody had erred on this count.
The Bhojpur District Magistrate had given ''Bal Shramik Bimukti Patras'' to all the 'rescued' child labourers.
Mr Mahto said three child labourers who were above 14 years of age were 'left free' by the labour department. Two child labourers were from North Dinajpur district in West Bengal while six of them from Kasap village in Bhojpur district. He said the child labourers were engaged in hazardous work and hence the employer was bound to pay Rs 20,000 to each child under the prescribed rules and regulations.
He said the Bihar government would either provide wageful employment to parents of child labourers under Employment Guarantee Scheme or pay Rs 5,000 to each child labourer.