Five kids engaged as child labourers rescued in Goalpara

The children were rescued following an operation carried out in Lakhipur, Boguan and Chunari areas of Goalpara

GOALPARA
Representative image.
Representative image.

3 min read

At least five children, who were illegally engaged in various commercial establishments in West Goalpara, were rescued by the task force formed by the district administration on Tuesday.

A team under the supervision of Snigdha Mither Pangsa, Assistant Commissioner, Goalpara and MK Das, District Labour Officer, Goalpara, carried out the operation in Lakhipur, Boguan and Chunari areas of the district and found all these boys, who are reportedly under fourteen years of age, working in different hotels and shops.

Later, they were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Goalpara and subsequently sent them to the children home for temporary stay. “A case will be filed against the employers of the children who were engaged as child labourers by the labour office following medical examinations of the victims,” informed official sources.

Meanwhile, while talking about Monday’s operation, MK Das said, “We carried out today’s mission as per instructions from Deputy Commissioner Ghanashyam Dass, who is very strict in regard to any child right violations.”
“However, in today’s operation, we have seen that the perpetrators of child right violations are well-organised. Because, once we finished our task at Boguan, the message was immediately spread to the other places before we reach and as a result in places like Chunari, we were not successful to apprehend anyone,” said Dass.
Giving a serious thought, Dass further said, “The child labour problem is a serious threat to  the future generations of State as it directly affects the body and soul of the victims. In Goalpara, children in many places are engaged as handymen in tempos, helpers in garages and in car washing units, etc. To eradicate this problem, we must have mass awareness specially among the poor and downtrodden sections.”
During the last one week, the media in Goalpara has highlighted this serious problem and Tuesday’s operation by the district administration is seen as a result of that.
As per a survey conducted by Save the Children, an international NGO, 37 pc children between the ages of 7 and 17 in the seven tea-growing districts of Assam have to work, with more than half of these children having to work for more than 40 hours per week.

The findings of the survey which were released in December 2017 encompassed 2283 children in the 7-17 age group from the districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivsagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Sonitpur and Nagaon. Out of the total children who were found to be engaged as labourers, 56 per cent were boys of whom 95 per cent were working in tea gardens in the seven districts of Assam.

Through the study it also came to light that of the parents working in tea gardens, 17 pc stated that girls do not feel safe and 72 pc parents reported that girls were harassed by employers while 26 pc parents revealed that their children have gone missing in tea gardens. Fifteen per cent parents reported incidents of child trafficking from tea gardens.

 

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Sofikul Ahmed
Sofikul Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in Goalpara. He can be reached at: dull.sofik@gmail.com