18th Jan, 2012 Delhi : On a day, which was recorded as the coldest day of the season in Delhi, Shyam (name changed) was found embroidering a silk garment in just one shirt, pant and worn out slippers. The shivering of his hands was continuously disturbing the movement of the needle through the silk threads, but he had no other option.
12 such children were rescued on the morning of 17th Jan, 2012 by police in raids in North-West district of Delhi from sweet shops, leather and garment units and roadside dhabas on a complaint filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
The rescue operations were led by SDM S.K. Nigam in Daya Basti, Sarai Rohilla and SDM Ajay Kumar in Inder Enclave, Saraswati Vihar accompanied by police, members from Labour Department and Bachpan Bachao Andolan. 5 people were arrested on the location and police is investigating further.
6 children were rescued from two sweet shops in north-west district, 2 from Zari unit, 2 from leather purse making unit, and 2 were rescued from roadside dhabas/hotels respectively.
The youngest one being 9 year old, most of the children belong to the villages of U.P. and Bihar and used to work for more than 12 hours a day without any wages. They were found in a wretched physical condition clad in bare minimum clothes, some even having skin diseases and it seemed that they had not taken a bath for weeks. Trafficked to Delhi from their native villages, they were held in bondage in these industries and units.
Mr. R.S. Chaurasia, chairperson , BBA said, “It is unfortunate on the part of police and labour department that children in large numbers are still working in unregistered factories and shops in residential areas. It shows that a lot more work is still required to eliminate trafficking and forced labour of children.”