35 child labourers rescued in Delhi

New Delhi: 35 children, who were trafficked from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and were working in leather goods factories in Delhi, were rescued by authorities on Wednesday.

Fourteen children were rescued in a raid conducted by officials of Task Force on Child Labour, Delhi Police, Labour Department and members of NGOs Salam Balak Trust and Human Rights Law Network in Sadar Bazar.

The children, trafficked from Purnea district in Bihar, were working in purse and bag manufacturing units. "They were being forced to work for 12-14 hours a day. The rescued children have been sent to a shelter home built by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and being run by Salam Balak Trust," an official of an NGO, which was part of the team, said.

An NGO member, who was part of the team, meanwhile, alleged that local community leaders and owners of the manufacturing units surrounded their car and hurled abuses and threats, especially targeting the women.

"This is becoming a trend. Recently, a rescue team of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) was also attacked during an operation to rescue child labourers," she said.

A team of BBA was attacked by a mob in Khureji area of east Delhi on March 17 and some child labourers they had rescued from there were forcibly taken away.

In another operation today by police, task force and labour department officials along with BBA, 21 child labourers trafficked from Bihar and UP and working in shoe making units in Keshav Pura in north-west Delhi were rescued and three persons employing them were arrested.

The children, who were in the age group of 9 to 14 years, have been sent to Mukti Ashram rehabilitation home from where they will be sent back to their homes, BBA said in a press statement.