They were found selling water sachets to the protestors
Six children from Banda Maisamma Basti near Indira Park were rescued by Labour Commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu at a public meeting held by the Domestic Workers Associations here on Saturday.
The children were found selling water sachets after school hours when the Commissioner spotted them among the crowd and sent them to the Labour Office.
Speaking on the incident Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said, “We will contact the children’s parents and counsel them. The Child Labour Act, 2009, prohibits children below 14 years from being employed in such occupations. We will take appropriate action against the parents and the person who sold water packets to them.”
The meeting was organised to mark the International Domestic Workers Day by AP Domestic Workers Movement, Montfort Social Institute-Domestic Workers of India, AP Migrant Forum Asia and AP State Domestic Workers Union.
The organisations protested over the indifference of the Indian government to ratify the ILO Convention-189 and demanded a comprehensive legislation governing the rights and other issues related to domestic workers.
They also stressed the need to immediately implement the AP State Social Welfare Board, which has been dormant since 2008, in order to extend social security measures to domestic workers and their inclusion under the ESI and Maternity Benefit Act of the Central government.
Responding to these issues, Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said that the State government has identified five sectors — domestic workers, street vendors, auto drivers, coconut farm workers and paper merchants — to be included in the pilot project to provide social security to the unorganised sector.
They would be identified through a survey and ID cards issued in two months. Bro. Varghese Theckanath, coordinator of Montfort Institute, said, “We plan to launch a campaign to collect 25 lakh signatures of the domestic workers on a memorandum demanding enactment of a legislation for domestic workers and submit it to the Prime Minister on July 30 this year.”
P. Padma, State president of Ryotu Sangham and Christine Lazarus, MLA, also addressed the meeting.