Seven teenage labourers rescued in Trichy, sent to children’s home
TRICHY: Seven teenagers who were employed by four different establishments in the city were on Tuesday rescued following a joint raid conducted by the child protection officials.
With Tuesday’s rescue, the number of children rescued from April this year has touched 93.
The raid was conducted by officials of the Child Labour Effective Elimination and Eradication Society (Cheers), child line, district child protection unit (DCPU), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and police department. They rescued seven boys employed as labourers in a metal showroom, a garment shop on NSB Road, a sofa showroom on EB Road and an electrical goods shop on SRC College Road. All of them were in the age group of 15 to 17 years. However, the officials could not file cases against the establishments for employing the child labourers as the law permits to register a case only if children below the age of 14 years are employed.
“As per the instruction from the district collector, we have been conducting raids in commercial establishments, and rescuing children below 18 years of age. In today’s (Tuesday) raid, we rescued seven children. Since they are above 14 years of age, we did not file cases against the commercial establishments. However, we warned them not to employ such children in the future,” said Pearline Selvakumar, project officer, Cheers, Trichy.
The rescued children had reportedly dropped out of school after studying up to Class 8 and 10 and were made to work for Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 salary a month.
Later on Tuesday evening, the children were produced before the child welfare committee (CWC). The committee made inquiries with the children about their family background and provided them counselling. Later, they were sent to a children’s home in the city.
“We have told their parents to enrol them in schools so that they pursue their studies. Their children will be handed over to them only after they submit the admission papers to us,” said S Indira Gandhi, chairman, CWC.
The child care protection team has rescued 93 children from April this year in Trichy alone. Most of them were above 14 years of age and forced to work due to family poverty.
“We found that poverty in their families forced them to leave their education and join such commercial establishments. The parents should realise that the habit of sending their minor children for work will spoil their future,” said Pearline.