Despite tall claims made by officials about a stop on child labour, minor children are still being trafficked into the scenic Kullu valley from outside the state. This is amply borne by the fact that an NGO Child Line recently rescued six minors with the help of labour court and police from Patlikuhal and Manali.
Child Line’s Kullu centre coordinator Pawan K Kashyap told Hindustan Times that four minors were rescued from Patlikuhal where they were employed by ‘dhaba’ owners while the two were rescued from Manali, including one engaged for housekeeping.
While five of the minors were resident of Gaya in Bihar, and had been trafficked by their relatives, the sixth was a resident of Mandi district in Himachal.
He said Child Line officials had since handover these minors over to their parents in Bihar with the help of a Gaya-based NGO.
It is pertinent to mention here that Hindustan Times had earlier reported rampant practice of child labour in Kullu district. A group of destitute children based in Kullu and surrounding area had revealed that many of them had never been to school.
In the absence of education, neither they nor their parents were not aware about their rights and had thus fallen victims to child labour.
Vishal, 12, from Rajasthan said that he was working as a ragpicker here for the last two years and earned Rs 100 to Rs 150 daily.
Last year, the NGO had rescued 30 minor children from Manali and Bhuntar area.
Kashyap said that there was possibility of involvement of a gang behind trafficking of minors across the state.