200 child labourers rescued in Hyderabad

Around 200 children employed at bangle-making and footwear workshops in Aman Nagar area in the Old City were rescued early on Saturday by the city police.

The children, mostly boys aged between 4 and 12 years, were working since the last few months. They were allegedly paid meagre amounts ranging from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000 per month, the police said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police V. Satyanarayana told reporters that the workshop owners paid a few thousand rupees as advance to the parents of the children. “After paying the money the children were brought to the city and were employed at the factories. It is a hazardous industry and children are exposed to chemicals. They are forced to work for 14 hours a day,” he said.

When the police raided the premises, officials were shocked to find about 30  children crammed in a single room. “The employer did not bother to provide the children with blankets or warm clothes. Instead they installed closed circuit surveillance cameras to monitor their activities,” Mr. Satyanarayana added.

Although, the labour department raided a few premises in the past and rescued over 70 children last year in the same area not much has changed. “There is a network of the brokers and owners of the workshops. The broker strikes a deal with the parents and sends the children along with the workshop  owners to the city,” an official said.

All the children were shifted to a nearby function hall, from were they will be brought to their homes.

(from: The Hindu)