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India: 43 kids rescued from garment factories in Punjab

Oct 09, 2013

Most of the rescued children are trafficked from Sitamarhi, Bihar by 2 traffickers and were forced to work for 12-14 hours.

In a separate action against child labour and trafficking, 43 children were rescued from 2 garment factories from Shivpuri, Ludhiana in Punjab on Thursday. The rescue operation were conducted in a joint initiative that included members of BBA, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Tehsildar, Labour Department and Ludhiana Police on a complaint filed by BBA. Most of the rescued children are trafficked from Sitamarhi, Bihar by 2 traffickers and were forced to work for 12-14 hours on a meager wage of Rs 50 per week. As young as 8 years, most of the kids were working since 2 years to 3 months.

Salim (name changed), aged 9 years, was sweating and panting heavily as he had been hidden in a pile of cloths, accepting his employer's command of being hidden, when the team of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) raided a garment factory.  Wiping tears from his eyes and explaining his condition Salim stated “ it has been 2 years since I am working here. I was 7 when Sikandar bhai (trafficker) took me. I have 2 young sisters, we are very poor Sikandar bhai had told my father that I would earn good amount and will be able to support him but I am getting only Rs 50 a week. I don't know in which condition they have been since. I want to go home”

30 kids had been rescued from Tip Top Garments and 13 children were rescued from Decent Garments. When the team reached at one of the garment factory the information seemed incorrect as the employer had hid the children in piles of cloths to mislead the raid team until the breathless kids sweating and panting started appearing out of the piles. Although some of the children had been banished by the employer 13 were held and rescued from the factory.

The rescue operation was conducted on the order from Deputy Commissioner Rajat Agarwal. The First Information Report (FIR) has been logged in Police Station Salem Rawadi, Ludhiana.

“These are the examples of few children out of thousands working in Ludhiana under most exploited conditions like slaves in factories. It is painful that after 66 years of independence lacs of children are still subject to heinous forms of child labour in garment sector. Government should come out and take all possible measures to stop it. ” stated R S Chaurasia, Chaiperson, BBA.

SOURCE: BBA

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