New Delhi: 80 child labourers allegedly trafficked from Bihar and Nepal were on Thursday rescued from garment and leather factories in central Delhi.

Seven employers and traffickers were arrested from Paharganj area following raids in garment and leather factories in Navi Kareem, Tel Mill Gali, Paharganj by Delhi Task Force on Raid, Rescue and Rehabilitation of Child Labourers and child rights activists.

The rescue operation was led by Sub-Divisional Magistrate who was accompanied by police, members from Labour Department and Child Welfare Committee and activists from Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and Child Line.

The children were trafficked through local agents from the villages of Bihar and Nepal and had been working in the factories for over six months. They were involved in stitching, cutting, dyeing and tanning of garments and leather.

"Most of the children are below 14 years of age. The youngest one being 7 years old. They used to work from 10 in the morning till 12 in the night for a meager amount of Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 as weekly wages," a statement issued by BBA said.

12-year-old Vikas (name changed), rescued in the raid, said, "I don't like to work. I have serious health problems and yet sometimes my employer would make me work from 8 in the morning till 2 at night".

Another 8-year-old Raju (name changed) was found working in a pitiable condition with a broken leg. "I belong to Sitamarhi in Bihar and I was brought here by a man in our village who gave money to my parents to bring me here", said Raju.

RS Chaurasia, Chairperson of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said, "Such comprehensive action through the consolidated efforts of both civil societies and government law enforcement agencies is the way forward towards eliminating child labour and child trafficking."


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