130 from Udaipur, Rajsamand alone
Udaipur : In a joint action by the Udaipur and Surat police, around 200 children employed in the famed textile sector were rescued from two hostels in the city past Saturday midnight. The raids were held after a fortnight of recce in the city malls and sari showrooms where these children were employed. A special team from Udaipur assisted by the local cops from Puna police station held the raids. ” It was difficult to raid the showrooms in the morning hours as it could distract the operation and hence we waited for the night when these kids would be taken to the hostels where they were accomodated by their employers.
Our team raided two buildings and rescued around 200 children of which 130 are from Udaipur and Rajsamand districts. Some children were from Bihar, Jharkhand and UttarPradesh who have been handed over to the Surat Child Welfare Committee (CWC) who would send them to their respective homes” Udaipur SP Kailash Chandra Bishnoi told TOI. This is the first time when the district police has held raids outside the state and rescued a large number of child workers. When officials led by Shailendra Pandya, member of the State Child Rights Commission, raided the premises, they found 4-6 children crammed in each room with no proper amenities, toilets or even beds to sleep. The children mostly boys, aged between 8 and 15 years, were allegedly paid meager amounts ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 per month, Bhojraj Singh of Asra Vikas Santhan, an NGO who coordinated in the operation, told Udaipur Kiran. The kids worked in different ways like sewing ‘moti’ (shiny stones) in saris, packaging and cleaning work in showrooms etc.
“The employer did not bother to provide the children with blankets or warm clothes. They didnt have proper beddings to sleep. They slept on durrie and had blankets to cover themselves. They were made to toil in the showrooms and malls the whole day” Bishnoi informed. Police has identified most of the agents who were instrumental in taking these children from their homes and getting them employed in Surat. ” Cases would be registered against them under relevant sections of Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act. The rescued children would be counseled by the CWCs and later on needed steps for their rehabilitation would be taken” the SP said.