The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had to intervene to win justice for the 14-year-old boy from Uttar Pradesh, who lost his right hand while working in a printing company at Pawane MIDC in Navi Mumbai.
After the intervention, the police arrested one contractor of the company for allegedly hiring the minor. However, no action has been taken against the proprietor.
The boy, Lavkush Gaud, lost his hand while putting papers in a punching and printing machine at Silver Printing Press Private Limited on May 23. However, the Rabale MIDC police were allegedly refusing to register even a first information report (FIR) against the company.
Officials from Navi Mumbai child-line center took up the matter and approached the labour commissioner to get a disability certificate for the boy. The certificate was not issued as the FIR had not been registered till then.
After the child-line center put pressure, the police finally registered the FIR in mid-June. However, they did not take action against anyone from the company even after that. The child-line center then filed a complaint on the PMO’s website in the last week of July.
“We uploaded the photo of the boy on the website and also asked for compensation for him and his rehabilitation. Within two days, we received a call from the PMO and they took the details of the incident. Later, they informed us that the case had been transferred to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and that they would take care of it,” said Shobha Murhty, head of the child-line center.
“The NCPCR immediately appointed an officer for the case and she started following it. She used to call us and take the updates almost every day. She also spoke to the district magistrate, the labour commissioner and the police commissioner of Navi Mumbai, asking them to pay due attention to this case,” she added.
Finally, the child-line center received a call from the Navi Mumbai crime branch (unit 1) asking them to visit their office with all documents. After examining the documents they assured teh center that they would take action against the company and arrested the contractor, Rajveer Yadav, alias Sheilendra Yadav, 40, last week. He has been booked under Section 338 of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation Act).
“The arrested person is also an employee of the company and he has been made a scapegoat in this case. The proprietor is responsible as he allowed the hiring of a minor in his company. So illegal action should be taken against him too,” Murthy said.
The boy was first admitted to a private hospital and then shifted to KEM hospital after four days. He was there for over a month where in his hand was amputated. He left for his hometown, Meerut in UP with his parents after that.
The boy’s father, Ramcharan Gaud, told HT, “My son will have it tough as he lost his right hand in the accident. So his rehabilitation is our first priority. The child-line center is helping us. The police should also do the needful to arrest the people who were responsible for this.”
Dilip Sawant, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said, “We collected the case details and have submitted a report to the state government. The investigation is still with the concerned police station. If the family has any complaint, they can come and discuss with us. We will take the necessary steps.”