HYDERABAD: At a time when distressed migrant labourers are fleeing back to their native areas, the plight of child labourers is still the same — pathetic — as they are forced to work behind closed doors and continue to be exploited.
Almost 10 days into the lockdown, the district child protection unit officials from Vikarabad rescued as many as five children who were employed in a paper plate making factory.
The officials, based on a tip off, headed to the industrial area of Shivareddypet in Vikarabad where the accused firm was functioning behind closed gates.
The rescued children were all under the age of 14 and hail from Bihar and were found working in terrible conditions.
“The children have been in Telangana for over a year. They were trafficked for labour by multiple people and landed in this unit around three to four months back. The children were found by our volunteers who went to the industrial area to ensure that the workers left behind are aware about Covid,” said Dr Dr K Krishnan, the secretary of the National Adivasi Solidarity Council.
The district officials were immediately informed about this, who in turn booked the responsible persons. “Though the Central government and the Supreme Court continue to stress and elaborate on the importance to ensure safety and dignity of the migrant labourers, exploitation continues unabated amid lockdown. Ignorance and poverty are easily misused,” Krishnan said.
He also warned that the post-lockdown industries and its owners use more exploitative measures on the labourers to get the work done cheaper to overcome their current losses.