Hyderabad: At least 250 children, some as young as six, were rescued by the city police from Bhavani Nagar area on Saturday in the Old City, Hyderabad. The children were employed at a bangle-making and footwear workshop.
The children, mostly boys aged between 4 and 12 years, hailed from the states of UP and Bihar and were working in the factory for the past few months. They were allegedly paid meagre amounts ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per month, the police said.
Some of the children had untreated wounds and were kept in filthy conditions. About 500 police conducted the raid and nabbed one Yasin Pehelwan.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) V Satyanarayana said the workshop owners paid a few thousand rupees as advance to the parents of the children.
â€œAfter paying the money the children were brought to the city and were employed at the factories. It is a hazardous industry and children are exposed to chemicals. They are forced to work for 14 hours a day,â€ he said.
About 4.3 million children aged between 5 and 14 years are believed to be working in India, according to a 2013 report by the US Department of Labour. About 70% work in agriculture, another 17.5% perform industrial work like breaking stones and stitching soccer balls and 13% work in the services industry like tourism, construction and domestic service.
Although, the labour department raided a few premises in the past and rescued over 70 children last year in the same area not much has changed.
Meanwhile, all the children were shifted to a nearby function hall. The officials planned to shift them to the childrenâ€™s home later during the day.