Three children from Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu were rescued from a sweet making unit in Sunkadakatte near Kodikal on Thursday. The raid was carried out by a team comprising personnel from Labour Department, Childline and Domestic Workers Organisation.
According to Assistant Labour Commissioner D.G. Nagesh, the raid was carried out at 3 p.m. on a tip-off that children were being made to work in the sweet shop. The raiding party found two boys and a girl, said to be aged 14 years, in the unit that was owned by P. Ravi.
In their statement the two boys said their parents who are agricultural labourers in Tamil Nadu, dropped them at the unit six months ago. The girl, who has studied till Class 5 in Tamil Nadu, was also left at the unit around the same time. The three children were found to be physically healthy. Mr. Ravi was paying each child Rs. 1,000 per month.
The three children were produced before the Child Welfare Committee and then taken to the Government Wenlock Hospital for examination to determine their age. “If the report reveals that the children are aged below 14, we will book the owner for violation of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986. We can also book a case for violation under the Minimum Wages Act 1948,” Mr. Nagesh said.
Child Welfare Committee Chairperson Asha Nayak said the three children will be housed in an institution in Mangalore. The Committee will record statements of children shortly. The Committee has sought a report about the health condition of the three children, she said.