Tirupati: Efforts are on to make the famous hill shrine at Tirumala a child-labour- free zone. Members of Child helpline, along with local police and TTD security sleuths, on Saturday morning held surprise raids around the temple town and rescued as many as 25 children, including nine girls who were reportedly forced into hawking business by their parents.
Mr Y. Venkateswarlu, circle inspector of Tirumala PS, said the raids were jointly held by team of officials, including police, child protection and TTD vigilance unit, in which about 25 children were found to be doing hawking business, because their parents had forced them.
“Among all the rescued children, four were aged under 10 years. Some of the girls were also being sent by their parents to sell balloons to pilgrims. Along with the rescued children, we also brought their parents to the police station, where they were given counselling by the team of experts from Child helpline”, the CI said.
The parents of the children, meanwhile, gave an assurance to the officials that such a thing would not be repeated.
The police did not register any case against them. Instead, they were given counselling. The CI said that they would take stern action against parents, who send their children to do hawking business again. He added that if the parents send their child to do business at any time, the children will be rescued and sent to government-run rehabilitation centres, with the help of Child helpline....