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29 child workers rescued in Delhi

Tuesday 7 June 2005

Staff Reporter

All of them brought from Sitamarhi in Bihar

NEW DELHI: Twenty-nine children working in an embroidery unit at Dabri in South-West Delhi were rescued on Monday by police and members of a non-governmental organisation. Two persons have been arrested.

According to Kailash Satyarthi of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, the embroidery unit was located in Raghu Nagar area of Dabri. Last week, one of the children working in the unit gave the slip to his employer. He met officials of the Andolan and told them that he was brought to the unit from Sitamarhi in Bihar where he and other children were made to work for several hours at a stretch without getting any remuneration. They were given food twice a day and a monthly salary of Rs. 40. He alleged that he was beaten up if he refused to work for long hours. The children were not allowed to go out.

The NGO informed the police and the sub-divisional magistrate. On Monday, the SDM conducted a raid on the units along with the NGO officials and rescued the children. Twenty-three of them were below 14 years.

Unhygienic conditions

All the rescued children belong to Sitamarhi. Police arrested Sagir

Ansari, who had allegedly brought the children from Sitamarhi, and his accomplice Nayeem on charges of trafficking and forcing minors to work. The team found that almost 20 children were kept in a small room that did not have any ventilation. Nearly all the children had developed skin allergies apparently due to working in unhealthy and unhygienic conditions.

The children have been sent to a shelter home at Burari. The NGO has demanded the arrest of the owner of the unit.

Earlier this year, the South Delhi police and the Special Cell rescued over 120 children working in the embroidery units running at Badarpur and other areas of South Delhi.

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