12 Jan 2016

CHILDLINE saved 4 children from Recycling Unit

In a tip off received by CHILDLINE, 4 children confined to in a recycling Unit and were working under inhuman conditions for over four months were rescued by CHILDLINE, along with Rajarajeshwari Nagar police in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Four children were rescued from a recycling unit by CHILDLINE in association with Rajarajeshwari Nagar police in Bangalore. The children worked in a unit which was spread on over an acre in Rajarajeshwari Nagar and were illegally employed by Rajendra Prasad for plastic bag segregation, taken from open gutters. They were confined to the unit and were working under inhuman conditions for over four months.

The rescued boys, all said to be aged between 12 and 14 years, were brought from Navadha district in Bihar and said that their employer had promised to pay them Rs. 3,000 per month, which he sent to their parents. After a tip-off on child labourers, the CHILDLINE team rushed to the unit. They found the children washing the segregated plastic covers in waste water which was highly polluted with chemical particles. The work area of the children was not visible as it was covered with sheets. 

The team eventually managed to enter the area through a small gate. Big plastic bags with chemicals were found inside and stink rose from the work area as the children had to wash the chemicals out of the plastic in dirty water. The children would wash the sheets in a storm water drain passing through the unit. Prasad would get huge bundles of plastic sheets from factories which were cut into pieces, washed and dried before being sold for recycling.

The team also discovered that the children were housed in an unhygienic shed adjacent to their work area that lacked basic facilities like electricity and clean drinking water. The children said that after reaching Bangalore, they were not allowed to go out anywhere and did not expect this kind of work. When they pleaded with the employer, Rajendra Prasad, to let them return home, he would shout at them. The boys worked 14 hours a day, from 6 am to 8 pm, and were allowed to bathe once in 15 days. Prasad provided grocery and the children cooked meals twice a day. Prasad would call their parents once a week and allow the boys to talk for a few minutes. That was the day the boys looked forward to.

The rescue team could not confront Prasad, as he had gone out. But the children provided information to the police based on which, appropriate steps will be taken by them. All the four rescued children were later produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for further action. Throughout the journey to the CWC, the boys were peering out of the windows of the vehicle. They said that this was the first time they were seeing the city. The police are on the lookout for the employer, who is absconding and as per the instructions from the CWC, the children were sent to a rescue home.