As many as 212 children between 4-12 years of age working in various factories have been rescued in Hyderabad on Saturday early morning by the local police. All of them have been identified to have come from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
They were working in bangle and shoe making units at Aman Nagar in the state Capital. Local police informed the reporters that the children have been found while conducting regular cordon-search operations ahead of Republic Day.
According to Senior labour officials told a total 212 children have been rescued and they will be produced to the Child Welfare Committee before shifting to local welfare hostels. This is the second time in less than six months to rescue a large number of children who were forced to work illegally.
The owners of the bangle and shoe making workshops have disappeared the moment police began cordon and conduct search operation as part of routine ahead of Republic Day. For the same locality, 62 children were also rescued three months ago.
According to local police, the owners of the units have paid about Rs 20,000 amount to children's parents and later brought them to Hyderabad to put them to work in the hazardous workshops. These children have been employed for a meagre amount of 2-4 thousand rupees per month while both bangle and shoe making units come under hazardous industries for children category as they get exposed for over 14 hours a day to dangerous chemicals.
It was also shocking that dozens of children have been kept in small rooms without even providing warm cloths like blankets during the cold winter but kept under surveillance of closed circuit cameras.
Police was surprised to find that 30 children were crammed in one room. The rescued children were living in unhygienic condition and some even had untreated wounds. The owner did not provide them with clothing or bedding.
Police have arrested 4 people while many others are still absconding. Some illegal weapons have also been seized and search operation is still on.At least 200 policemen were involved in the raids, which were carried out at multiple locations in Hyderabad.Rescued children have been shifted to a nearby function hall and will be moved to a children's home after interrogation.