New Delhi: Thirty-four child labourers were rescued in two separate raids in North and Central Delhi in a joint operation of Labour Department, Delhi Police and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) on Thursday.
The kids were rescued under the supervision of Sub-Divisional Magistrates in two simultaneous raids in Adarsh Nagar (North Delhi) and Karol Bagh (Central Delhi) on the complaint of Bachpan Bachao Andolan. 19 children have been rescued from jewellery making units and 11 employers were arrested and 9 units were sealed in Karol Bagh, police said.
The children were between the age group of 12-17 years and were promised handsome salary along with education. After counselling the children it was found that most of them belonged to villages of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and were brought here by agents from same village.
None of them got wages and it was only two bowl of rice that they were surviving on.
"I was exposed to extreme conditions and had to work among poisonous gases for the past 3 years. We used to take gas out of the cylinder and polish the stones continuously for 16 hours a day. We had to wash our hands properly before eating as the gas was extremely dangerous. The owner didn`t allow me to move out of the premises," BBA quoted a 15-year-old boy as saying.
In another rescue operation conducted in Adarsh Nagar and Jahangirpuri, 12 children were rescued from hotel/dhabhas and restaurants.
The children were in the age group of nine to 15 years and belonged Uttar Padesh and Bihar. Most of them worked for more than 12 hours a day and were found clad in bare minimum clothes. During the operation, five employers have been arrested by the police.
Children have been sent to Mukti Ashram, a short term rehabilitation centre of BBA by the order of the Child Welfare Committee.