Child labour: 16-year-old domestic help rescued from Magnolias in DLF-5
A 16-year-old girl who was working as a domestic help was rescued from an apartment of DLF-5 on Saturday night. The girl’s mother said that her daughter came to the city from Jharkhand in 2019 with her aunt, who got her a job at the apartment through a placement agency, but she was not being allowed to leave by her employers as well as the agency.
The police said that a kidnapping case was lodged in the Gumla district of Jharkhand, the girl’s home town, around 18 months ago. The mother approached the child welfare committee last week, but as the apartment was locked, she returned to Jharkhand and later that week, the girl was rescued by the police. The police said they are probing the incident and have not filed a case yet.
Deepak Kumar, the Childline coordinator for Gurugram, said that they received an anonymous call on their helpline number 1098 on Saturday, informing them that a minor was working as a domestic help in The Magnolias society in DLF-5. “We formed a team and with help of the Sushant Lok police station rescued the minor. Her medical examination was conducted and she was found to be fit. The girl alleged that she wanted to return home, but neither her employer nor the placement agency let her leave. She was not in touch with her family members for the past five months, but had called them before that and informed them that she was working (as a help) in an apartment,” he said.
The girl was sent to a shelter home after her statement was recorded before a duty magistrate on Sunday.
As per the rules, the minimum age for employment as a domestic help is 18 years, but the girl was being employed as one since she was 14 years old.
Sonia Yadav, a member of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), said that the girl’s mother contacted them last week and informed them regarding the placement agency. The helpline officials took the details from the placement agency and alerted the police on Saturday, she said.
Kumar said that a probe is underway and action will be taken against the family and placement agency once the investigation is completed.
Jasvir Singh, the station house officer of Sushant Lok police station, said that they informed Jharkhand police as a case was already registered there. “We had sent a team with the Childline and CWC team and the minor has been sent to a shelter home. We have informed her mother, who will be reaching in a day or two from Jharkhand. Based on their complaint, action will be initiated,” he said.
A DLF spokesperson, on Monday, said, “All security-related protocols have been followed with regard to this incident. We have and will continue to extend all the support to all authorities investigating the incident.”