In a series of raids on Saturday, the city police rescued more than 150 children employed as labourers in small textile units in Shastri Nagar and Hasanpura localities of the Pink City.
The children, in the age group of 8 to 16 years, were rescued following a tip-off by NGO Children Welfare Committee (CWC).
DCP (west) Sharat Kaviraj said the children were from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. “So far, 81 children have been rescued from Hasanpura,” he said.
In Shastri Nagar, the police have arrested five persons and rescued more than 70 children, informed assistant commissioner of police Lovely Katiyar. She said more raids were going on in other units in the area.
Kaviraj said the joint raid was conducted after CWC shared with the police a video footage of the children. He said abduction and trafficking charges could not be framed against the accused since the parents had willingly sent the children.
“Altogether 10 people have been arrested for employing and bringing these children to the city. The accused have been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act, and more raids are on,” said Kaviraj.
Initial investigations have revealed that the children were forced to work for 12 to 14 hours every day.
Ganpat Acharya, chairman CWC, said, “The children lived in the basement of the embroidery unit. Living conditions were, however, not suitable for human beings.”
The children were paid anything between Rs 50 to Rs 80 per day — depending on their age — for embroidery work on saris. Police have ordered a medical examination of the children.