Rescued from inhuman working conditions in New Delhi, 14 minors, including two boys, as well as two girls aged around 20, reach Ranchi station on Friday.
“Ghar jaa kar aaraam se sutbau (will go home and sleep tight),” giggled a 10-year-old girl of Khunti who had been working as a domestic help in the national capital for a year.
Happy to be back, she added she was sent to earn but her employer did not pay. Another girl of her age and district immediately chipped in with the resolution that she would study. “Working as a maidservant is very, very hard. I will study now,” she resolved.
Fortunate to be rescued from different places in New Delhi over the past fortnight under Sankalp, a project by Ranchi NGO Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, and supported by international outfit Save the Children, the youngsters, who were all employed as domestic helps or labourers, are now hoping for a better life.
Sanjay Mishra, of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, who is also a senior member of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), told The Telegraph: “The children are from all over the state — Khunti, Chaibasa, Gumla, Sahebganj, Latehar, Simdega and Garhwa.”
Now, they will be produced before Child Welfare Committee of the district and handed over to their parents.
But, Mishra also stressed on counselling to help the rescued get over their trauma.
“An amount of Rs 1,17,548 has been collected as compensation from their employers. The children will be counselled and inspired to study. Those who are interested in skills development would be given vocational training,” said Mishra.
Text by Chhandosree, picture by Prashant Mitra