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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 22, 2007
NGO demands strict action on child labour
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NGO demands strict action on child labour

A non-governmental organisation-- Bachpan Bachao Andolan-- which helped in rescuing child labourers from gold polishing units in Delhi, today urged the Central and State governments to strictly enforce the ban on child labour and take strict action against those employing them.

New Delhi, May 22 : A non-governmental organisation-- Bachpan Bachao Andolan-- which helped in rescuing child labourers from gold polishing units in Delhi, today urged the Central and State governments to strictly enforce the ban on child labour and take strict action against those employing them.

The voluntary group, which has been for long working against child servitude, said the practice was rampant in Delhi and strict enforcement of law can only put a check to it.

"We demand to the Delhi and the Central Government to take strong action against these major brands and principal employers as until these big fishes are not controlled, this problem cannot be checked. No case has been registered yet against these brands," said Kailash Satyarthi, founder of the 'Bachpan Bachao Andolan'.

Ninety-three child labourers were rescued from various gold polishing units in the Capital on Saturday. The units, in the central Karol Bagh locality of the city, were dark, dingy with little or no ventilation.

The raids were carried out on the complaints filed by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

The rescued children who looked relieved to have finally come out of the clutches of the employers narrated their horrible tales.

"When we asked for money he would give us 10 -20 rupees and if we ask for more then we're beaten. We also used to get beating if we ask for leave to go home. We used to start work at 9 in morning till 3 at night. We just get to sleep for 4 hours, we work for 17 hours," said Jayant Rana, a rescued child labourer.

"These agents told my parents to send me to Delhi, where there are job opportunities. I have studied till eighth standard and have a sister. We are poor and so my parents sent me here but here the conditions are bad. We were made to work in difficult conditions and beaten. I have been here for three years but was never paid," said Proshanto, another rescued child labourer.

A recent legislation in India bans employing children under the age of 14 at roadside food stalls or as domestic servants.

The ban provides legal protection to millions of children. Those found violating the law could face up to two years' jail and a maximum fine of 20,000 rupees or both.

Social activists say the greed of employers who make huge profits by paying children meagre wages is a stumbling block in stamping out child labour from a developing economy like India.

The Union Labour Ministry says there are 12 million children under 14 years old working in India -- the largest such group in the world -- but activists say the number could be five times higher.

ANI

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