15,000 children continue to sweat it out in factories, authorities least bothered

The recent case in which 28 children, including eight from Nepal, were rescued by the district task force committee has raised questions over the total number of child labourers working in more than 16,000 industrial units in the city.
Updated on May 24, 2015 01:10 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Ludhiana

The recent case in which 28 children, including eight from Nepal, were rescued by the district task force committee has raised questions over the total number of child labourers working in more than 16,000 industrial units in the city.

What adds to the worry is the fact that only 13 first information reports (FIRs) have been registered against owners of factories employing children despite more than 35 raids conducted at various units in the past three years. In previous raids, children as young as seven years of age were found working in factories.

Most of these children are brought to the city by contractors after paying money to their underprivileged parents. They are made to work in a tough environment in factories and eateries and have to make do without basic amenities.

Although there are no exact estimates of the number of child labourers in the city, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) claim that the number could be anywhere close to 15,000.

Members of these NGOs, which work with the task force panel comprising representatives of different departments of the district administration, say they have demanded a number of times a crackdown on the human trafficking racket in various states that lands these children in the city.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan, one such NGO, stated that more than 370 children have been rescued from different industrial units in the past three years, pointing towards the gravity of the situation.

POLICE, INDUSTRIES DEPT PASS THE BUCK

Despite being a part of the district task force committee, the police say they cannot register an FIR against those employing child labourers without being asked to do so by the industries department.

Assistant commissioner of police (east) Gurjit Singh said that the industries department has to make a recommendation to the police to register an FIR, without which no legal action can be taken against the erring factory owners.

The industries department, however, says the onus lies on the police to act in such cases.
Assistant director of factories Makhan Singh said that every department in the district task force has a specific mandate.

“While the role of the education department is to ensure the child gets education after being rescued from a factory, the work of the police department is to register an FIR under relevant sections,” he said.

Makhan Singh said the industries department’s responsibility is to slap a notice of Rs 20,000 on the erring factory owner and deposit the money in the child welfare fund.

“The police don’t need any recommendation from the industries department to register an FIR. They can do so on their own,” he said.

Dinesh Kumar, a member of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said that child labour has been made a cognizable offence and the police cannot shrug off its duty of booking the erring employers.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The battle for dominance within the Congress party in Karnataka has once again made news as Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and state party president DK Shivakumar were summoned by the high command to resolve differences. (ANI)

    Karnataka Congress leaders battle for CM post ahead of 2023 assembly polls

    The Congress plans to win 130 seats in next year's Karnataka assembly election but seems still not be able to present a united front with senior leaders vying to be seen as next in line for the chief minister's post, leaving workers confused. News agency ANI quoted a senior leader as saying a 'damage control' policy is needed right now.

  • A lightning strike during a thunderstorm. (AFP File Photo)

    Lightning strikes kill 11 in one day in Madhya Pradesh; IMD issues warnings

    According to official data, six friends who had gone for a picnic in Ajnoi forest of Sheopur were struck by lightning. Of those, Ramabharat Adiwasi, Dilip Adiwasi and Mukesh Adiwasi, all in their early 20s, died on the spot, while Dayaram Adiwasi, Satish Adiwasi and Somdev Adiwasi were seriously injured and admitted to Gwalior Medical College.

  • The banner was put up in front of the Thane Municipal Corporation's (TMC's) headquarters.

    To Uddhav’s three-wheeler jibe, Thane auto drivers gather in support of Shinde

    Auto-rickshaw drivers in Maharashtra's Thane district put up a banner of Eknath Shinde in front of the civic body headquarters on Thursday to extend their support towards the state's new chief minister. The banner was put up in front of the Thane Municipal Corporation's (TMC's) headquarters with about 100 auto drivers taking part in a gathering. The drivers also stuck stickers with the above slogan on their autos.

  • BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh. (PTI,)

    TMC delegation meets Bengal guv amid row over Dilip Ghosh's remarks on Mamata

    BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh allegedly made some remarks on Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee's family during an interaction at an event organised by a leading media group. The BJP leader said the Bengal CM referred to herself as “Banglar meye (daughter of Bengal)” before the Assembly elections in the eastern state in 2021, and later during her visit to Goa, called herself the “daughter” of the coastal region.

  • Bengaluru, the largest office market in India, saw rental levels grow by 4 per cent YoY in office real estate market.

    Bengaluru undeterred by Omicron wave, residential unit sales rise 34% | See list

    The Bengaluru residential real estate market remained undeterred by the Omicron wave of Covid-19 with a 34 per cent year-on-year increase in sales in the first quarter of 2022, a report by global consultants Knight Frank said. Residential real estate prices were, in fact, highest in Bengaluru - a 7 per cent YoY increase, followed by a 5 per cent increase in Pune and a 4 per cent increase in Mumbai.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 07, 2022