26 child labourers from Odisha, MP & Jharkhand rescued from Parle-G plant in Chhattisgarh

Raipur/Bhubaneswar: Twenty-six child labourers were rescued from the plant of popular biscuit brand Parle-G here, police said Saturday.

A government task force on child labour had received a tip-off that minors were employed at Parle-G factory in Amasivni area, said Vidhansabha Police Station House Officer (SHO) Ashwani Rathore.

The task force raided the factory Friday evening and rescued 26 children, he said.

They were sent to juvenile shelter home, he added.

Based on a complaint filed by the Women and Child Development Department officials, a case was registered against the factory owner under the Juvenile Justice Act, the SHO said.

Preliminary probe suggested that the rescued minors were aged between 13 to 17 years, he added.

District Child Protection Officer Navneet Swarnkar told PTI that a district task force was constituted to conduct a drive to mark World Day Against Child Labour on June 12.

“As part of the campaign, a total of 51 child labourers were rescued in the last six days in the district,” he said.

Some of the children allegedly employed at Parle-G factory hailed from Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, Swarnkar said. Their parents were being contacted, he added.

According to the statements given by the children, they worked from 8 am to 8 pm and received wages ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 per month, he added.

“We are hoping that Child Welfare Committee will add other sections like 3, 3A, 14 of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act and section 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) of IPC,” said Sandip Kumar Rao, state coordinator of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan who was part of the rescue operation.