Vijayawada

2,774 children rescued in ‘Operation Muskaan’ in State

In a joint operation, the police department in association with the line departments, conducted ‘Operation Muskaan’ and rescued 2,774 children engaged in different establishments across the State, on Wednesday.

The children, belonging to Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring States, were employed in violation of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2017 and Minimum Wages Act, 1948.

“The children belonged to Bihar, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and other States and were engaged in shops, hotels, garrages and other establishments violating the Acts. The children will be restored with their parents”, said Director-General of Police (DGP) D. Gautam Sawang, who monitored the one-day operation.

As many as 794 police teams headed by Superintendents of Police, ASPs, Dy. SPs, and officials from Women Development and Child Welfare, Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) participated in the raids from dawn in all 13 districts.

“Of the 2,774 children, 396 were girls and women officers and staff of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and various NGOs joined the teams to rescue the girls. Police summoned the parents and handed over the children to them after counselling, and the remaining were referred to the Child Care Institutions (CCIs), through CWCs,” the DGP said.

The officers explained to the parents and their wards about the Right to Education Act, 2009 and the need to educate children, and the consequences if the Acts were violated.

Instructions had been given to the police officers to contact the CWCs of the neighbouring States from where the children were rescued and take measures to reunite them with their families by following the legal procedure, Mr. Sawang said.

“This is the first time that we rescued children in huge numbers. We request the parents not to engage children for work and warned the employers of stern action, if they engage children in hazardous and non-hazardous establishments”, the DGP said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 1:28:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/2774-children-rescued-in-operation-muskaan-in-state/article30030987.ece

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