On ride against child labour, they will cycle 320 km to Ajmer in 22 hrs

COMBAT CHILD LABOUR CAMPIAGN

COMBAT CHILD LABOUR CAMPIAGN

ADITYA DEV IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

GURGAON: A group of nine cyclists from Gurgaon have chosen to undertake a 320-km ride to Ajmer in a bid to sensitize people against child labour and raise funds for two NGOs Gurgaon Ki Awaaz and Shakti Vahini working in the field of childrights.

The Mission Cycle to Liberate Childhood is being spearheaded by Chiro Mitra, who helped bring to light the DLF phase I child labour case. Mitra’s effort had helped an NGO rescue an 8-year-old boy from the clutches of bondage labour and torture.

The group of cyclists from Gurgaon would start riding from Gurgaon at 4 am on February 5 and will ride towards Ajmer with an aim to cover the distance in 22 hours.

Mitra (38), who works as a veterinary consultant with European Union, said: “Through this initiative, we want to send a message that child labour is unacceptable in society. It is also to help bring joy to children who are forced to work in factories, dhabbas and fields and worse still, as domestic help.”

The funds generated through the event will be used for buying a vehicle for NGO Shakti Vahini, which runs Childline in Gurgaon. It will be used for the purpose of rescuing children. “Lots of people have joined our initiative and donated money. And to show their solidarity, some people will also cover a small portion of the journey with us, Mitra added. Mitra’s group comprises lawyers, doctors and management gurus among others. Advertising and brand consultant Manas Arvind, who is participating in the event, said, “This event has given each one of us a purpose to do something for kids. It is a sheer misfortune that these children are forced to work, when they should ideally be going to schools.

Arvind added: Last time when we cycled to Jaipur and when people asked us the reason behind that, we could only say that it was for the sake of riding. I am happy that we have a greater mission than that.” Last time that the group undertook a journey, it cycled approximately 250 kilometres to Jaipur.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/On-ride-against-child-labour-they-will-cycle-320-km-to-Ajmer-in-22-hrs/articleshow/7393811.cms

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Rescued girl still yearns for Delhi life

SUMATI YENGKHOM , TIMES OF INDIA KOLKATA

JANUARY 29,2011

THE ARRESTED TRAFFICKER - CRIME BRANCH DELHI / CID WEST BENGAL / SHAKTI VAHINI JOINT OPERATION

THE ARRESTED TRAFFICKER - CRIME BRANCH DELHI / CID WEST BENGAL / SHAKTI VAHINI JOINT OPERATION

 

KOLKATA: It has been almost six weeks since Tahira Khatun was rescued from Delhi and brought to Kolkata. But the trafficked girl who had raised eyebrows by refusing to return home to her parents in Balikhal village in South 24-Parganas has not mellowed down a bit. She is desperate to go back to her “Mummy and Papa” in Delhi — the couple who are allegedly part of the gang involved in the trafficking of girls for a sleaze racket.

The 15-year-old girl is lodged at Sneha, a shelter for destitute girls run by NGO Sanlaap in the southern fringes of Kolkata. But Tahira yearns for the fast life back in Delhi and still hopes that her “Mummy and Papa” would come to “rescue” her one day. “Initially she refused to interact with other inmates. But now she talks to them sometimes. She is still in trauma with conflicting ideas disturbing her,” said Sanlaap senior programme coordinator Tapati Bhowmick.

Tahira was rescued from Delhi on December 16 by a joint team of West Bengal CID, Delhi Police and Shakti Vahini, a Delhi-based NGO. She had gone missing from her Kakdwip home in April 2009. Tahira’s stepmother Johura Biwi had moved high court in July 2009 after police failed to trace her. The court had then directed the state police DG to trace the girl and produce her in court.

Tahira had allegedly been lured out of home by Kalam, a resident of Kolkata, with the promise that he would get her out of poverty. He took her to Delhi and sold her off to another trafficker, Azhar. The latter, in turn, sold Tahira to Kadir. Kadir is the one Tahira refers to as ‘Papa’. It was his residence in Begumpara from where the girl was rescued, though Kadir managed to give police the slip.

In Kadir’s house, Tahira was pampered with all the materialistic pleasures that were only a distant dream for the girl who lived in abject poverty back home. All it took for the girl to accept her ‘new life’ was good food, expensive cellphones, branded clothes and accessories, ATM cards, movies at plexes and lavish birthday parties. “Earlier the ‘madams’ would torture trafficked girls to tame them. But now they win the girls’ confidence by fulfilling their materialistic demands. This works great on these girls who come from extremely needy families,” explained Bhowmick.

Tahira has been on counselling since she was brought to Sneha. She constantly demands that she be allowed to speak to her “Mummy and Papa”. She was allowed to do that through CID officials on a few occasions. During such conversations, she was apparently promised that she would soon be taken back to Delhi. But recently, the traffickers changed their SIM card, possibly on getting a hint that they were under CID’s watch.

“Tahira is probably realising that her Mummy-Papa had made false promises of taking her back to Delhi. At the same time, she lives in the dream of going back to her life in Delhi. This conflict seems to be disturbing her,” said Bhowmick. A good development is for Sanlaap to have found that the girl has an aptitude for dance. She was sent to the American Centre recently for a dance workshop. She came back much happier. The home is thinking of engaging her in dance classes.

Even as Tahira’s family is looking forward to taking her home, she is adamant about not going back. Johura went to Sneha recently with Tahira’s mother Samiran Biwi. But they were not allowed to meet her. “Since the girl is unwilling to meet them, we cannot force her. We have told them to obtain a court order for meeting her,” said Sanlaap executive director and also state child welfare committee member, Indrani Sinha.

Two child labourers rescued

Children in Ladakh, India

Image by alles-schlumpf via Flickr

GURGAON: A day after TOI reported the plight of child labourers in the city, two kids – aged 9 years and 12 years – were rescued from a dhaba in Sector 53 on Tuesday. Acting on the complaint of NGO Shakti Vahini, which works for child rights, the police registered an FIR against Kiranpal Daima.

The police have registered the FIR under Sections 24 (whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a juvenile or the child abets the commission), 26 (exploitation of juvenile or child employee) under Juvenile Justice Act, and 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of the IPC.

The two children are residents of Hazaribag in Jharkhand. While the older one had been working for the past four months, the nine-year-old was brought into the city just a month back. Nishi Kant, Executive Director of Shakti Vahini, said, “We had received a complaint through Childline (children helpline number 1098).

A team of officials rescued the two children. “The kids were later sent to the civil hospital for medical tests to verify their ages,” Kant added.

Children issues need urgent attention: DC GURGAON

ban child labour

Image by FrogStarB via Flickr

ADITYA DEV TIMES OF INDIA

GURGAON: A few days after the Gurgaon police rescued an eight-year-old domestic help from his employers who used to beat him up mercilessly, the Gurgaon administration has constituted a district monitoring committee and has also formed a sub-divisional level task-force to ensure that such things do not get repeated in future.

Deputy commissioner (DC), RK Kataria, also gave instructions to the concerned SDM to examine and file a case under the Bonded Labour Act in the 8-year-old domestic help case where he was tortured by his employers. Kataria also instructed to provide relief to the child victim according to the central government sponsored schemes.

The labour department was instructed to provide immediate support as per the Supreme Court guidelines with respect to child labour.

These directions were issued during the meeting of district child welfare committee, called by the DC.

The sub divisional task force will ensure that Child Labour Act, Bonded Labour Act and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act are implemented in cases of child rights abuse.

The task force will have the SDM, ACP of the concerned Area, labour officer, Childline, education department, health department and district child welfare council as members of the team. The task force will develop response system to address the above mentioned issues, while the district monitoring committee will oversee their functioning, Kataria said.

The DC instructed the NGO Shakti Vahini, which runs childline in Gurgaon, to facilitate the process of defining the role of stakeholders and to prepare guidelines for police, labour officials and SDM for the implementation of various child rights acts.

Kataria added, A district-level workshop for sensitization of all stakeholders will be conducted in which prominent members from National Commission for Protection of

Child Rights (NCPCR) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) would be invited.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Children-issues-need-urgent-attention-DC/articleshow/7271448.cms

NCPCR writes to state govt

ADITYA DEV / TIMES OF INDIA GURGAON

GURGAON: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the Haryana government and recommended the inclusion of sections under the Bonded Labour Act and Child Labour Act in the FIR against the accused Ishwar Kumar Guptas family.

The commission has also asked the state to immediately provide compensation to the child under the law as well as to ensure that child is being admitted to school. Moreover, raising question over the functioning of present child welfare committee (CWC) in the district, which is headed by the deputy commissioner, the commission said the chairmanship should be given to the appropriate authority. The commission asked the state government to institute the CWC under the stipulated provisions.

The NCPCR reportedly showed its displeasure in the way the case was handled by the Gurgaon police and noted that police officials as well as those from child welfare department are not well-equipped to handle such cases. The commission has also recommended that the Gurgaon administration should conduct awareness and sensitization programme of all the officers. The administration has also been asked to ensure proper investigation in the matter.

V K Tikoo, NCPCR member who headed the five-member team investigating the child labour case, said, This letter has been sent to the chief secretary of Haryana government and he has been asked to act on the recommendations.

The inclusion of Bonded Labour Act might spell more troubles for Ishwar Kumar Gupta and his family; those convicted under this act, can face a maximum three years jail term and will also have to provide compensation for the child. It will also be considered a Under Child Labour Act, the maximum punishment is of one year imprisonment.

Commenting on the issue, Gurgaon deputy commission RK Kataria said, I am yet to go through the case, but will definitely take stringent actions after going through it. The new sections would be added as per the law. Kataria informed that there is a CWC existing in the district, which meet as and when any case arises.

The NGO, Shakti Vahini, which runs childline in Gurgaon also submitted a memorandum to the administration demanding similar initiatives to strengthen child rights in the city.

“Ensure treatment of abused child”

THE  HINDU

A five-member team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has intervened in the case of torture of an eight-year-old boy in Gurgaon, directing the district administration to ensure treatment of the child.

“The NCPCR took suo motu action in the case. The child has been admitted to a hospital and is being treated for injuries. We will give further directions to the Haryana government on Monday,” said NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo.

The boy was rescued on Tuesday by local NGO Shakti Vahini after a call was received on its child helpline about the abuse being faced by him. The eight-year-old was employed as domestic help at the DLF Phase-I residence of Ishwar Kumar Gupta since the past two months.

“He was regularly beaten up by Mr. Gupta and his wife, who even set their dog on him as punishment. Injury marks are evident all over his body,” said Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini.

The police were initially reluctant to file a first information report, said Mr. Rishi Kant. A case was later registered under Section 23 (punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child) and Section 26 (exploitation of juvenile or child employee ) of the Juvenile Justice Act, and Section 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr. Rishi Kant said Mr. Gupta denied treating the child badly, but could not explain the injury marks on his body. “He was arrested by the Gurgaon Police on Wednesday, but was granted bail on Thursday. His son, Manish Gupta, was also arrested in connection with the case on Friday, and was granted bail the same day. Ms. Gupta is said to be absconding since Wednesday,” he added.

Shakti Vahini received a video of the child being kicked by Ms. Gupta repeatedly.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/article1074518.ece

Directive to ensure treatment of abused child

THE HINDU / NEW DELHI

A five-member team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Thursday intervened in the case of torture of an eight-year-old boy in Gurgaon, directing the district administration to ensure treatment of the child.

“The NCPCR took suo motu action in the case. The child has been admitted to a hospital and is being treated for injuries. We will give further directions to the Haryana government on Monday,” said NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo.

The boy was rescued on Tuesday by local NGO Shakti Vahini after a call was received on its child helpline about the abuse being faced by him. The eight-year-old was employed as domestic help at the DLF Phase-I residence of Ishwar Kumar Gupta since the past two months.

“He was regularly beaten up by Mr. Gupta and his wife, who even set their dog on him as punishment. Injury marks are evident all over his body,” said Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini.

The police were initially reluctant to file a first information report, said Mr. Rishi Kant. A case was later registered under Section 23 (punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child) and Section 26 (exploitation of juvenile or child employee ) of the Juvenile Justice Act, and Section 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr. Rishi Kant said Mr. Gupta denied treating the child badly, but could not explain the injury marks on his body. “He was arrested by the Gurgaon Police on Wednesday, but was granted bail on Thursday. His son, Manish Gupta, was also arrested in connection with the case on Friday, and was granted bail the same day. Ms. Gupta is said to be absconding since Wednesday,” he added.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1063735.ece