Cops free 44 child bonded labourers
Bangle factories turn prison for kids.
Hyderabad: On Tuesday morning a group of kids sat at the south zone DCP’s office in Purani Haveli with glitter on their faces and hands. After long hours of work in bangle manufacturing units they looked worn out. Many were excited to see the outside world and get some good food to eat. Most of the kids were too young to understand why the men in khaki had kicked open the factory doors early morning and arrested their maliks after rescuing them.
The bangle unit at Janganpet, Falaknuma, was a prison for 11-year-old Raeezuddin and his elder brother Md. Mubarak. They had to wake up at 7 am and work till night, when his employer gave them dinner. There were 13 other kids sleeping in a small room. The brothers, who hail from the Purnea district of Bihar, were allowed to go out only once a week. Raeezuddin was paid Rs 1,500 every month while his brother got Rs 2,000. “We were brought to Hyderabad six months ago by an acquaintance. The owner would order and we would do, that was the deal he made with my parents,” said Mubarak, who is 12. “My employer usually sent the money to my home. If he gives it to me I may have wasted it buying unnecessary things when I go out on Fridays,” he added.
Raeezuddin said his parents did not send him to school because they wanted him to work. “My father said I was wasting time in my village playing. He said I should go to Hyderabad and earn money,” he said. “Here I can no longer play. Malik allowed us to go out only on Fridays for a few minutes,” he added. The 44 children from Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, who were rescued by the police from the bangle units in Chatrinaka and Falak-numa on Tuesday went through the same ordeal for weeks.
“These kids were put up in very hazardous working conditions. The agents brought them secretly from their villages and made them work here without providing basic amenities. When we received a tip-off our teams raided the units and rescued them,” said DCP V. Satyanarayana. The police have arrested five people who were running the bangle manufacturing units for employing the kids. “We have booked cases against them under Sections 370 (trafficking) and 374 (unlawful forced labour) and under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976,” the DCP said. The children were sent to rescue homes in Hyderabad by the cops.
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( Source : deccan chronicle )