The Mumbai police report has revealed that children are forced to beg for alms.
The report, seen by Hindustan Times, shows that in past two years nearly 300 children have been rescued from forced begging in the city. Around 27 offenders have been arrested (Section 24 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000).
Of those rescued, the majority (198) were boys, with just one-third (97) being girls.
Flesh trade is also common in city, the report says.
It shows that during the same period (January 1, 2007 and March 31, 2009) 129 people were arrested for pushing minor girls into flesh trade and 94 girls under 16 were rescued from brothels.
Secretary of Women and Child Welfare Department, Vijay Satbir Singh, said he would be sending an interim reply to the Government of India based on these figures.
“We want to find out whether there is a mafia and whether children are being forced into begging. The state advisory committee is going to meet anytime now and we will discuss this report,” Singh said.
In that period, a total of 983 boys and 385 girls were taken into care and protection. Over 850 children under 14 were rescued from forced child labour and 751 people arrested under the Child Labour Act.
The report was sent to Singh after an article in British tabloid The Daily Mail on January 24, described how children in Mumbai were having their limbs amputated by gangs and then forced to beg.