Trapped in a sweet shop as a child labourer for over two months and subjected to inhuman torture and physical abuse at the hands of his employer in Punjab’s Bhatinda district, a child reached out to Bachpan Bachao Andolan’s Punjab team with a fervent “please take me out of here” plea.
Crying inconsolably, the child revealed how he was being made to work for 14 hours a day for the last two months and deprived of wages. His employer snatched his phone even and threw him out of the job the day before.
In spite of it being a weekly holiday in Punjab, the BBA team promptly sent a complaint to the police, ChildLine, District Child Protection Officer and the Labour Department. Subsequently, a joint team of BBA, ChildLine and the local police carried out a rescue operation and rescued the child who then highlighted the plight of two other children who too were being made to work and subjected to abuse at the sweetshop.
Based on the tip-off, the raid and rescue team managed to rescue four more children from the sweetshop. But a mob gathered around the team and a heated altercation ensued and in the process. Two out of the four children were driven away.
The BBA team immediately reached out to senior police officials who directed the SSP to initiate proper action. Finally, FIR was lodged and charges slapped against relevant sections. Legal process with regards to the rescued children is on though no arrest in the case has been made as yet.