Twenty six bonded child labourers have been rescued from a toy factory in north-east Delhi following a raid by the government's labour department and an NGO.
The four buildings over which the factory was spread have been sealed and the owners fined Rs.20,000 per child rescued.
Trafficked from their homes in Bihar, these children -- all boys in the age group of eight to 14 -- were working for a year in the factory's toy and bindi making units.
Saleem, the youngest of the boys to have been rescued, said: "I have not been paid a paisa for my work although I toil from early morning to late night so that we are able to complete the order. We are given two meals a day but we are beaten for very small things like sleeping late or not doing our job properly."
Saleem's father was lured into sending him to the city with promises of a good education, he said.
The boys, who have been rescued under the Bonded Labourers Act late on Wednesday, have been given a release certificate. They are now being kept at the children's home in north Delhi.
Umesh Gupta of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), the NGO which helped in the rescue mission, said: "After being rescued, the children were produced before the Child Welfare Committee, who send them to a children's home for a week or 10 days, before sending them home.
"On being handed over to their parents, they will be given a compensation amount of Rs.20,000 and enrolled in government schools. A bank account will also be opened in the child's name in the nearest post office and a stipend of Rs.300 deposited every month so that he or she continues studies."