Cyberabad: The Cyberabad police have formed Operation Smile Teams in the three zones of Cyberabad which will work throughout the year to rescue children from Child Labour, begging, rag picking, etc., runaway and vulnerable children.
On 19-11-2020 as part of their duties Operation Smile Team and ChildLine team officials raided Divya Shakthi Paper Mill at Kondurg Police Station limits and found that (11 ) minor children were engaged in gathering of scrap papers. After keeping them in water, the paper was loaded in the machinery due to which their health was getting affected. On inquiry it was revealed that the wages paid to them were also very less and not regular, also their working hours were long without any breaks. All the minors were brought from Bihar and Jharkhand States by labor contractor They were brought with an agreement of Rs 12,000/- per month, in return, he was collecting commission Rs. 1,000/- from each and more than Rs. 5000/- as a ration and other necessities from company canteen only, finally each one gets 4,000 to 5,000/- monthly. Management of the industry was allotting daytime work to adult workers and children were made to work only during the night. The owner of the company was arrested for the violation of The Child Labour Act. A case was registered in Cr. No. 159/2020 U/s 79 JJ Act and 374 IPC at Kondurg Police Station. The Children were sent to Shelter Home after producing them before the Child Welfare Committee.
During the rescue of children from labor it was observed that :
- The children were made to work from dawn to dusk for more than 12 hours, without any break.
- They were living in unhygienic conditions in small rooms without ventilation.
- They were not provided any holiday.
- The children were suffering from malnutrition, stunted growth, and other health issues.
- Children working in the paper mills were covered with fine dust from head to toe.
The teams searched for vulnerable children aged below 14 years who are found on footpaths, traffic junctions, working in tea stalls, Dhabhas, near-religious places, micro industries, etc.. in Cyberabad Commissionerate.
Cyberabad Police has launched a special Whatsapp No.7901115474 for reporting on child labor. Citizens are requested to report on persons using children below 14 years as child labor in hotels, restaurants, Dhabhas, tea stalls, domestic work, etc. on this number or Dial 100 or send e-mail to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Stringent action will be taken against the offenders. Using children below 14 years as labor is prohibited by law and carries a punishment of imprisonment of up to three years. Information about any child found begging can be sent along with the address where the child is found and the Smile Team will rescue the child and help in his/her rehabilitation.
Our Citizen Reporter
B. Bharath Reddy