Manu Sharma Sachdev
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 (New Delhi)
It has been a year since the government banned child labour but virtually nothing has changed on the ground, thanks to the complete lack of enforcement.
Less than a month after the ban on child labour comes into effect, three girls were rescued from the Gupta household in Faridabad’s IP colony. With nowhere to go, the bruised and traumatized girls spend five days in a police station while the accused go scot-free.
A year later, the government claims the child labour law is a huge success.
”We have been putting laws in place, the police is also being made aware. Its an evil we have to stop at all costs,” said Renuka Chaudhary, Minister, Women and Child Development.
These words mean nothing to the girls who have changed many homes in the last year. Finally they are starting to settle down in this Bal gram in Sonepat.
Their physical scars have started fading away. The emotional scars will take time to heal but justice is far from done.
The traffickers are still at large due to a lack of any will to take action. The family who exploited and abused them is also out on bail. And even though the families of the girls have been traced, they still can’t return home.
”My father had come to take me. But I had to tell him to go back because my case is on. After the case is over he will come and take me. It’s nice here. I play with my friends, but I want to go home,” said a victim of child trafficking.
Most of these children who’ve been rescued as child labour are also victims of trafficking.
Driven to desperation by poverty, these children are forced to look for ways to earn a living and end up falling prey to traffickers.
It’s been a year since the ban on child labour was imposed and amended trafficking prevention act. But even these stringent laws have not been adequate enough to get justice for these girls and many others like them. Ironically its overlapping laws and the administration that is not able to effectively implement them