As many as 80 child labourers have been rescued from garment and leather factories in central Delhi’s Paharganj.
Thursday’s rescue has once highlighted the issue of child trafficking, as majority of the children were brought from Nepal and Bihar to work in the factories.
“Some of the children are only six years old. They were brought here with the help of local agents in the villages of Bihar and Nepal and had been working in the factories for over six months. They were involved in stitching, cutting, dyeing and tanning of clothes and leather,” said a senior Delhi government official.
The Delhi government has decided to take strict action against the trafficking of children, such as sealing buildings where they are illegally employed.
According to sources, a majority of the children would work from 10am to 12am. They were paid a meagre weekly wages of Rs 50-100.
“I don’t like to work because I am ill. But my employer makes me work from eight in the morning till two in the night,” said Vikas (name changed), one of the rescued children.
Seven employers and traffickers were arrested from Paharganj area following raids in garment and leather factories in Navi Kareem, Tel Mill Gali, Paharganj by the Delhi Task Force on Raid and Rescue and Rehabilitation of Child Labourers and child rights activists.