An eight-year-old boy was rescued by the Noida police on Sunday from a flat in sector 20 where he had been forced to work as a domestic help for five years.
It was also found that the couple, who had been keeping him in their home, had “found” the boy on a road in 2009 and kept him captive ever since.
FXB India Suraksha, an NGO that works to end violence against children, was the first to learn about the child’s circumstance after being tipped off that the boy, Shiva, wasn’t the real child of the couple — identified as Narautam and his wife —with whom he lived in Nithari village.
“Locals confirmed Shiva was brought by Narutam five years back when he found him lost near Nithari crossroads in a school uniform,” NGO programme manager Satya Prakash said.
The NGO informed the police and a joint raid was conducted to rescue the boy who showed signs of physical abuse. “The child has some minor bruises on his body … sources say Shiva was beaten up by Narautam’s wife,” said Prakash.
It was the couple who named the boy Shiva. Narautam is a rickshaw puller and also works as a sweeper at a bank in Sector 20.
In an attempt to find the real parents of the boy, the NGO and the police have contacted schools who have similar uniforms to the one Shiva was found in. Shivas’s picture will also be uploaded on Zipnet so that other states’ police can access his details, police said.
“The face of a child changes drastically. For any of his relative, it will be hard to identify him. We are sure that he must be missing from some nearby area as a three-year-old cannot travel a long distance unattended and unnoticed,” said a senior police official.