The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the District Child Protection Officer on Wednesday raided the house of a school teacher in Kottara after she was accused of making her students work in her farmhouse.
The CWC is inquiring into alleged violation of child labour laws by Margaret Lobo, an Assistant Teacher in St. Rita School in Kottara.
The raid comes in light of complaints made to several officials, including Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Director of Public Instructions.
According to the complaints, Ms. Lobo has been accused of taking a few students on rotation basis to her farm house in Eedya in Krishnapura 7 Block and making them work.
When CWC Chairperson Asha Nayak and District Child Protection Officer Gracy Gonsalves raided the house of Ms. Lobo, initially, the teacher and her husband, Francis D’Souza, denied the allegation. “Go ask parents of children. We are not answerable,” said Mr. D’Souza.
When Ms. Nayak referred to the complaints, Mr. D’Souza said two boys, aged 9 and 10, were staying with them for the past few months as their parents had difficulty in sending them to the school.
It took a few minutes for the couple to give the phone number the nine-year-old boy’s mother, who stays in a tent in Kottara and goes to work in Fishing Harbour. “The boy told me over phone that he does work in the farm, including plucking arecanut, which is a difficult task,” Ms. Nayak told reporters.
Ms. Nayak said this case would be referred to the Department of Labour.