a massive raid and rescue operation
by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), Global
March Indian partner, 129 child labourers
working in zari (embroidery) unit were
rescued from Kotla Mubarakpur, New Delhi.
Boys, aged between 8-14 years were found
working in small dingy rooms, with no
light or ventilation. These small rooms
were homes as well as workplaces for
children trafficked from the states
of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Zari making and work has been classified
as hazardous form of child labour in
the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation)
Act 1986 in India.
raid, supported by the police, administration
and judiciary, was conducted as part
of an ongoing drive to by BBA to make
New Delhi a child labour free city.
Thousands of children trafficked mainly
from Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and
Orissa, slog in Zari and numerous other
sweatshops that litter New Delhi’s
landscape. Functioning from labyrinthine
lanes, these sweatshops are hard to
pin-point and harder to monitor and
control. 30-50 boys can be found working
in each of these Zari units in the most
appalling conditions. Working more between
12-14hrs a day without break for a meagre
Rs. 200 per month (food, etc, is deducted
from this amount by the owner), have
lost their sense of freedom and liberty.
years old Saimul has been working for
the last 6 years in one of the raided
Zari units. Youngest among 4 siblings,
Saimul was trafficked from West Bengal
by an agent along with his brother to
Delhi. In the last 6 years he has met
his parents only once. For working tirelessly
from 9 a.m. in the morning to 1 a.m.
past midnight, Saimul’s earning
was a paltry Rs.600 a year.
Saimul and his co-child workers have
been rescued by BBA, the main culprits,
the traffickers, employers and the exporters
still remain at larger.