Heart-rendering stories of 22 child labourers rescued from a factory in Nabi Karim area left the audience, including Delhi High Court Justice M.K. Sharma, speechless. The stories were told through a documentary “Chained Childhood in the lanes of Nabi Karim” on Monday at IIC. The children spoke about being beaten when they failed to meet the work target and money deducted from their salary. “On a bad day, we would get less food,” one child said.
The eldest, Mohammad Istahar, said when the police arrived, the employer hid most of the children. “Only a few like me were rescued,” he said, while recalling his days of work in dhabas and a school bag knitting unit.
After the documentary, Justice Sharma said, “Access to justice for children like these should be our highest concern and commitment.” Bharati Sharma, chairperson of Child Welfare Committee, expressed her anguish at the poor rescue and rehabilitation system of child labourers. Sreepura Mitra Chaudhury of Institute for Gender Justice, who arranged the rescue of these children, said, all these children were in a bad state when they were rescued.