NEW DELHI: In a joint operation by the Sub Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) of Hauz khas and Saraswati Vihar and activists of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA)—established by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi—along with NGO Bal Vikas Dhara, Childline, labour department and local police, 64 child labourers were rescued on Thursday. These children were working in local garages, hotels and other commercial establishments across different parts of Delhi.
The rescue operations were conducted in Saket, Savitri Nagar, Malaviya Nagar areas in South Delhi and Saraswati Vihar in North West Delhi. The rescued children–between the age of 12 and 17 years– are from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar. Mohdammed Shakeb (name changed), 14, from Bihar said that he come to Delhi with a distant relative to provide sustenance to his family. “Despite my efforts, I have not saved anything here. I earn just enough to have two square meals daily,” he said.
Shaked said he wanted to go back to his village but the owners did not allow him to leave. “I work daily for over 12 hours for a pittance,” he said. Police are in the process of registering a case, on the directions of the SDMs, under the relevant provisions of child labour act and Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. The minors are in the process of being sent to Child Care Institution (CCI). They will be presented before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Friday.
“We are regularly conducting raids along with law enforcement agencies to rescue children pushed into labour. However, it is unfortunate that a large number of child labourers are being rescued regularly in the national capital. Conviction of employers—who find children as a source of cheap labour and flout the existing law with impunity—can send a strong message against child labour.
The lack of stringent punishment also negatively impacts the rehabilitation of the rescued children. We hope that the government takes cognizance of these issues and take suitable action. Alongside, we urge the union government to pass the anti-trafficking bill in the upcoming session of the parliament.”, said Manish Sharma, Director Bachpan Bachao Andolan.