14 children rescued from Shahpur Jat sweatshop
Police on Monday rescued 14 children working in embroidery units in south Delhi’s Shahpur Jat area, a day after media reported that an Indian supplier of American apparel giant GAP was using child labour.
The rescued children, aged between 8 and 15, were found working on three separate floors of a dilapidated building. Sources said this was the same building where work for GAP Kids had been outsourced by a sub-contracter.
After Britain’s The Sunday Observer reported that an Indian supplier of GAP Kids was using child labour in Shahpur Jat, the company withdrew clothes supplied by its Delhi vendor and ordered an investigation. It also called an emergency meeting of its suppliers.
However, the Apparel Export Promotion Council, a government body, denied allegations of use of child labour by GAP vendors. “There is absolutely no evidence of child labour. This is a hoax and a fabricated campaign,” council chairman Ajay Agarwal told HT.
On Monday, the raiding team could not arrest any contractor. Most of the rescued children had been brought from Midnapore and Howrah districts of West Bengal. Twelve-year-old Noor Malik (name changed) said he was paid Rs 100 for a week’s labour. Rehman, 8, said: “I don’t like the job, but then my mother can’t afford to feed me either.”