Police rescue 52 child labourers from Jaipur factory

Jaipur, Jan.11 : Police in Rajasthan capital Jaipur have rescued 52 child labourers, most of them hailing from Bihar.

Police found the children during a raid on a factory in the city.

Station House Officer (SHO) Vikram Singh, who led the operation, said: "52 children who were forced to work illegally were rescued. They were employed for making traditional bangles and on a tip-off, police officers from three or four other police stations came together and rescued all the 52 children. Two people have been arrested in connection with the case. Investigations will be carried out against the owners of the building where they were employed or the people who sent them to work."

A child labourer, Rajkumar, hailing from Bihar's Darbhanga District, said: "I start work at 8 in the morning and have lunch at 2 or 3 p.m. After lunch, I have dinner at 11 p.m., and then sleep. They used to pay me Rs.1500, and I used to sleep in the factory. I used to sweep the floor, spread the mat on the floor and sleep on it. I have been working here for the last one year."

More than 12 million children below the age of 14 are working as domestic servants or other jobs such as in stone quarries, embroidery units, mining, carpet-weaving, tea stalls, restaurants and hotels, according to government data.

A law prohibiting employing children in homes and in the hospitality industry came into effect in October 2006. There have only been 1,680 prosecutions and not a single conviction.

Children working in lower-end restaurants and highway food stalls are a common sight in many parts of India, and many urban middle-class households hire young boys and girls from poor families as servants.

The law -- where violators face a jail term of up to two years and a maximum fine of 20,000 rupees ($420) is an extension of a previous 1986 ban prohibiting children from working jobs deemed too "hazardous" for minors such as in factories and mines.

Child rights campaigners say, like the previous ban, the 2006 law has never been properly implemented or enforced.

--ANI (Posted on 11-01-2014)

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