Staff Reporter

The boy was selling eveningers near the Vidhana Soudha

He took up the job after failing in his III standard examination: Makkala Sahaya VaniHis earnings supplement the income of his eight-member familyPublishers of the eveningers to be asked to give explanation

BANGALORE: On a day when World Day Against Child Labour was observed with Minister for Labour Iqbal Ansari and many children taking oaths to prevent it, the Makkala Sahaya Vani (Ph: 1098), a children's helpline, rescued a nine-year-old boy selling newspapers near the Vidhana Soudha.

Following a telephone call, the Makkala Sahaya Vani team went there and found Santosh, a resident of Rajajinagar, selling eveningers on the roadside.

He was brought to the Sahaya Vani office and later produced before the Child Welfare Committee.

The Child Welfare Committee will enquire into the case and decide about the boy's rehabilitation.

According to Santosh he has been selling newspapers for the past one year.

He told the Sahaya Vani team that he took up the job after he failed in the III standard examination.

A person staying near his house brought him to a newspaper vendor, he said. He earns Rs. 55 a day by selling two eveningers between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

His earnings supplement the income of his eight-member family, which comprises his unemployed father, mother who works as a maid in a school, and five brothers and sisters. "Of the income earned, I keep Rs. 5 with me and give the balance to my father. But he uses the money for buying alcohol," Santosh said.

A Child Welfare Committee member said the committee would inquire with Santosh's parents and find about the circumstances that had forced them to send Santosh to work. It would also seek an explanation from the publishers of the eveningers. "We are against employing children for any kind of work, including hawking newspapers. We want such children to be sent to schools," he said.