Child rights activists free 96 child workers in New Delhi
New Delhi, Aug 20 (ANI): A raid on illegal brocade and cosmetic units led to the rescue of 96 child labourers here.
Central officials of the department of child labour and child rights activists raided zari (brocade) and 'bindi' (cosmetic stickers) units in six locations in New Delhi.
The Bachpan Bachao Andolan or Save the Childhood Movement, a voluntary group working against child slavery organised the raid.
Officials said the boys under the age of 14, were mostly from poverty-stricken districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
"The rescued children are from six different locations in Usmanpur police station. They used to work in 'bindi' making and zari units. These children are all under the age of 14," said A.K Sharma, sub divisional magistrate.
Officials said strict action would be taken against the offending factory owners and owners of the premises where the children worked.
"Through the provisions of the Child Labour Act we will impose a fine of 20,000 rupees per child to be paid by the offending employers and also will be sentenced to jail. Action will be taken on people who made them work like this.
The SDM (Sub Divisional Magistrate) will instruct the SHO (Station House Officer) to take action against the house owners who rented out their places so that they would not perform such acts in future," Gurmukh Singh, an official with the department of child labour.
Aslam, a rescued child said, "I am from Aligarh and used to learn to work here in Usmanpur.
We used to work daily between 8a.m. to 6 p.m. and used to get meals twice in the day."
The rescued children will be sent to their native places, after ensuring their education and rehabilitation.
More than 12 million children below the age of 14 are working as domestic servants or other jobs such as in stone quarries, embroidery units, mining, carpet-weaving, tea stalls, restaurants and hotels, according to government data.
India has imposed a ban on child labour, but activists say not a single conviction has come to light for almost three years after the law came into effect. (ANI)