Officials failed to provide shelter to Gopa Ram

Collector Budha Prakash M. Jyothi sought an explanation from Labour Department officials on why child labourer Gopa Ram (12), who died in a road accident in Jaggaiahpet town, was not rehabilitated.

The Education Department, Women Development and Child Welfare and Juvenile Welfare Departments, who were entrusted with implementing the Right to Education Act, protecting child rights and looking after the welfare of children, are maintaining silence over the incident.

A native of Rajasthan, Gopa Ram, son of Bharat Ji, migrated to Andhra Pradesh for livelihood. He was engaged for work in a hotel. The Labour Department officials during a special drive booked a case against the hotel owner, Hare Ram, on March 4 and rescued the boy.

However, the officials failed to provide shelter to Gopa Ram and the owner re-employed him. The boy attended the Open Court on March 13.

Incidentally, Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Chairman Thomas Koshy, along with other officers, attended the court. But, the officials have not discussed on providing shelter to Gopa Ram and the officials sent him with the owner.

On March 19, Gopa Ram died when a RTC bus knocked him down while he was crossing the road. The mishap was recorded in the CC Camera and the footage was telecast by several TV channels.

Krishna District Deputy Commissioner of Labour (DCL) S.Y. Srinivas said as per the directions of the district Collector, a report with the details of the case would be submitted to him on March 23.

The Labour Department officials served notice to Hare Ram for employing a child labourer, and charge sheet would be filed in Jaggaiahpet court under Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986.

No proper reply

“I just attended the Open Court for observation. The boy was not produced before CWC. If Gopa Ram was given shelter, he would have survived,” Fr. Koshy said. However, there was no proper reply on why the officials failed to give shelter to the rescued boy in some home and sent back to the employer.

The Jaggaiahpet police said that a case under Section.304 (A) of IPC (causing death by negligence) has been registered against the bus driver and the case is under investigation.

More In: Vijayawada