Hyderabad: High and mighty too employ kids at home

They promise education, good life, exploit kids.

Hyderabad: The practice of children employed as domestic helps is on the rise. Among employers are the wealthy and the educated, including politicians, state officials and software engineers.

These people engage children by falsely promising them education. They are made to work without a break and are generally poorly paid and ill-treated. Some of them are subjected to sexual abuse, say activists.

Small scale industries like bangle making units, jewellery units and brick kilns employ children in the age group of 6 to 14, of which majority are from Bihar and West Bengal. In the case of domestic child labour, children from districts surroundings the city like Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Medak and Warangal are found in big numbers.

Activists say poverty, drought and crop failure are the main reason that force parents to send their children as workers. Employers prefer children from remote villages as they are relatively innocent and obedient.

“These children are deprived of basic facilities. Girls suffer more in such cases as their personal needs are not taken care of,” said Hyderabad district child protection officer Md Imtyaz Rahim.

Another reason for children being employed is the fear of adult workers. If a male servant is working, there is a chance of theft at home or harassment of family members.

“A woman employee she can go to the police if she is harassed. But children bear everything silently and do not know the world outside. Often girls are subjected to sexual harassment also," SCPC member Achyutha Rao said.

TRS leader promised good education

Srujana, 14, who was rescued from the house of former Deputy Speaker and senior TRS leader Harishwar Reddy dreams of becoming a teacher.

Srujana, of Penumalli in Uppununthala mandal of Mahbubnagar, is the only daughter of her parents, who working in the politician’s fields. Srujana, while studying at the village school was impressed by her teachers and aspired to be like them.

But her family’s financial situation forced her to stop at Class V. Harishwar Reddy’s family told her parents that Srujana can study at Hyderabad while helping out at home. The parents sent her to Hyderabad 18 months ago. But since then, she was confined at home and never allowed out.

“Every time I stepped out, the security people kept a watch over me. At home also I was made to do all kinds of odd jobs. I felt sad that I could not reach my goal,’’ she said. (The names of all victims have been changed to protect their identity)

Minor rues losing his job

Rajesh, 15, from West Bengal, who was rescued from a jewellery manufacturing unit in the old city, was the only breadwinner for the family.

Rajesh was studying in Class VI when his father died. His mother had to clear debts, run their home and save money for Rajesh’s sisters’ marriages. Rajesh, who came to know of jewellery units in Hyderabad, thought he could help out. “I was paid well but made to work without rest. Now my family not have money,” he said after his rescue.

Same is the case with Krishna who was brought from Bihar to work in a bangle-making unit. The agents paid his parents Rs 2,000. “I was happy that many boys of my age were also there but later understood the situation. We were made to work from 8 am to 1 pm, sometimes even without food,’’ he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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