Mangalore: Two child labourers rescued

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Mangalore, 03 June 2010: The Labour Department officials rescued two children, who were allegedly employed as child labourers in a house, near Jyothi Circle in the city on Thursday.

Shivakumar (about 11 years old), son of Mullegowda -Jayamma couple of Manjanadi and Siddika (about 13 years old), daughter of Akbar - Maqbool couple of Chikmagalur were rescued by the officials after conducting a surprise raid to the house. Both children have stated before officials that they were working as domestic labourers in the house.

While Shivakumar was working as a child labourer for the past three years, Siddika said that she reached the house about a year ago. Both children alleged that they had to work from early morning till night.

“They woke me up at 6 am and I have to clean bathroom, sweep rooms, stair case, windows and help their child to go to school. I go to sleep at around 10 pm. They keep scolding me if I do not work properly, but they do not pay a single penny as salary. Instead, my father collects the salary,” Shivakumar explained.

“My house owner Shoukath has an industry in Manjanadi named Bawa Plywoods. My parents also working with them. I completed second standard at Manjanadi Government School. I wanted to continue my education. However, my parents did not allow me to go to school and instead asked me to work in their house,” he said adding “I want to become a police officer.”

Meanwhile, Siddika said that she was working in their house for nearly one year. “I do not know my date of birth, but my age may be around 13 years. I sweep floors, clean plates and vessels in their house regularly,” she added.

Speaking to media persons, District Labour Offier Gopal Gowda said that criminal case will be filed against Shoukath, the owner of the house where children were working, if any one of the children or both children’s age was found to be below 14 years. “We will take children to the Government Wenlock Hospital for age confirmation tests. Action will be taken based on the medical certificate and criminal case will be filed at the Judicial Magistrate First Class court,” Gowda said.

In the meantime, steps will also be taken to distribute Rs 20,000 each as compensation to children as per Supreme Court’s directive. Children will be admitted to Prajna Counselling Centre to give them bridge school facility under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyana, he added.

DLO D G Nagesh, Senior Labour Inspectors K Satyanarayana, Krishnamma and Manohar were present.


Comments on this Article
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Sat, June-5-2010, 12:44
Two flew over the cuckoo s nest. But, how far will they fly? I hope Shoukath will not have the last laugh. (I fear he will)
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