Hyderabad: In a series of raids, Hyderabad Police have rescued at least 48 child labourers from various bangle factories in the city.
Most of the rescued children belonged to Bihar.
The police have been carrying out raids as part of their ‘Smile’ programme to rescue minor children working in hazardous conditions.
Hyderabad Police circle officer, N. Rama Rao said they have booked a case against the factory owners and efforts are on to nab the culprits.
“As per instructions, we have raided three places. We have rescued 48 people who were working in hazardous conditions in bangle making factories.
We are booking case against the owners who are keeping these people in working in hazardous situations. We are taking action against them and we are also taking action against those who are abetting them to do this work,” said Rao.
Some of the rescued children said they were forced to abandon their studies and work in factories with either no or little pay.
Thirteen-year-old Mohammad Ruhail, who hails from Bihar, said he was forced to work ‘because my aunt is in the factory’.
“They are not giving us money… (I work) for round two and a half hours. But they don’t pay us,” Ruhail added.
Many children had untreated wounds and shards of glass on their face.
Last week, the police had rescued 218 under-age children during raids at several bangle and leather making units.
More than 12 million children below the age of 14 are working as domestic servants or other jobs such as in stone quarries, embroidery units, mining, carpet-weaving, tea stalls, restaurants and hotels, according to government data.
A law prohibiting employing children in homes and in the hospitality industry came into effect in October 2006.
The law-where violators face a jail term of up to two years and a maximum fine of 20,000 rupees is an extension of a previous 1986 ban prohibiting children from working jobs deemed too ‘hazardous’ for minors such as in factories and mines.
However, the law has failed to make significant progress as people still continue to employ children in odd jobs.