Assistant Labour Commissioner D. Anjaneya Reddy asked the parents to admit their wards in schools and not to send them for work or employ them in shops or homes
The Labour Department conducted an Open Court on Friday and disposed of 37 cases. They rescued an equal number of children from employers and directed them to admit the children in schools. Assistant Labour Commissioner D. Anjaneya Reddy conducted the proceedings. Assistant Labour Officers from Circles I to VII conducted raids on various shops in the city and on residences to rescue the children.
The labour officers produced the children along with their parents and employers in the open court held at Lenin Centre and explained their plight and the meagre salary they received. The Assistant Labour Commissioner expressed anger at the owners of some cloth stores, shops, and other establishments for engaging children in work. He enquired with the children about their age, education qualification, in which shop/industry/home they were engaged, wages being paid by the employers, since how long the boy or girl was employed, and the facilities and food they were provided.
Explaining about child rights, he asked the parents to admit their wards in schools and not to send them for work or employ them in shops or homes. The Labour Department officials also provided counselling for the victims and their parents through NGOs at the court.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Anjaneya Reddy said the officials paid about Rs.1.03 lakh through the employers of children under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, in 28 cases. The amount was deposited in the name of the children in banks.
Shop owners were not present in nine cases for hearing, and the court imposed five times penalty than the normal amount in their case. A minor girl, who was rescued from hazardous work (maid servant), was paid Rs.20,000 in the court. The Labour Department will also file cases in Criminal Court for prosecution of shop owners if the rescued children were aged below 14 years, said the ALC.
Labour officers V.K. Raja Babu, M. Venkateswara Rao, P. Lakshmi Narayana, B. Muni Swamy, G.S. Naik, G.V. Subba Rao, and S. Amar Kumar produced the rescued children in the court.