Last year the Delhi Police rescued a 13-year-old girl found locked up inside the house of her employers who had left the country on a holiday. The doctor couple in Delhi’s Dwarka area allegedly abused this young girl by keeping her hungry and beat her up for minor mistakes.

The girl had finally mustered the courage to call out to a neighbour when the couple were away leading to her rescue.

Now, exactly a year later this young girl, who currently lives in a residential school in Jharkhand, spoke about her ordeal in the Capital and how life is now looking up for her at a function organised by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour on Wednesday.

“I cannot forget Delhi and the abuse that I suffered at the hands of the couple. After I was rescued and sent back home, my mother just hugged me and cried,” said the girl.

“She had always wanted me to go to school, get an education and become a teacher. But I wanted to help my parents and younger siblings and earn money for the family and that is why I came to Delhi through a ‘tout’,” she said.

“Today I want to appeal to all those parents who are pushing their children into labour to stop and think. When I was working I would go without food for days and for months after I was rescued there were injury marks from the beating I received at the hands of the couple. Today I am in school and dream of becoming a science teacher. I know I have a good future ahead if I stay in school and do well. Every child should have that right in India,” said the girl.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement the NCPCR, International Labour Organisation and UNCIEF have called the world’s attention to the plight of millions of children around the world who are exploited as child labour, including in domestic work. “Children in domestic work are especially vulnerable to exploitation. Their work is often hidden from the public eye, they are isolated and very often, work far away from their home. Children migrating alone and with their families are also at increased risks, including child trafficking. Taking advantage of their vulnerability, the children are trafficked from their villages in rural/ tribal areas and taken to the metro cities for work. Stories of the abuse of children in domestic work are too common,” the statement noted.

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