How far is the police’s help important after the rescue? What problems does CWC face?
Following the child’s rescue, there is a formal hearing in connection with his case. We arrange to send the child to his native place with a police escort. The escort is sent to make sure that the child doesn’t return midway or that agents don’t bring him back before he is handed over to the family. However, policemen have several other responsibilities, which sometimes hamper their availability.
Do we see presence of foreign children in child labour? How many such children have been rescued?
The presence of foreign children in Mumbai’s child labour circuit is less compared to earlier, as agents find enough victims from poor states. In a recently conducted raid at Madanpura, 108 children were rescued, of which 43 belonged to Nepal’s Rautahat district.
Had the CWC filed any affidavit with the state claiming that Maharashtra would be a child labour free state by 2011? How far is the tag from being achieved?
We haven’t forwarded any such affidavit after I took charge as the CWC chairperson. There is greater awareness against child labour and hence the number of police raids has increased. However, considering the menace of juveniles operating as cheap labour, the war is far from over.
What steps can ensure better functioning of CWCs in Maharashtra and other states?
There are CWCs all over the country; however they are not centrally connected to each other, hence co-ordination with other CWCs becomes difficult. It would also help keep a tab on rescued children from entering the child labour circuit again.