Ambika Pandit- NEW DELHI: Recurring cases of tribal girls being tortured by their employers in the city have failed to get the state and central governments to crackdown on the malaise.
While most of these underage domestic helps come from Jharkhand, the state government has not filed an action-taken report more than one-and-a-half years after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights directed it to do so.
After the inhuman treatment of a help came to light in Dwarka early last year, the NCPCR visited Gumla in Jharkhand which is believed to be the source point for trafficking to Delhi. At a children’s home run by the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh in Ranchi district, it met eight girls and a boy rescued from Delhi, and learned from them that most of the girls who ended up as domestic helps in cities were lured to leave their villages by a neighbour or relative who had already worked outside.
“The children accompanied these known persons to their destinations, mostly Delhi,” the report states. Most of them took the step without parental consent. The girls were mainly motivated by the desire for a better lifestyle and more money. That they were handed over to unknown persons and passed on three or four times before reaching Delhi points to the existence of a trafficking racket.
“In Delhi they were made to stay at ‘office’, where there were other children (probably a placement agency). The children were placed after varying intervals of one day to one month as domestic helps. They were neither informed about their emoluments, the nature of duties, or even the hours of work,” the report states, adding the children generally reported being ill-treated at work. “Insufficient food, long working hours and abuse in varying forms and degrees were reported by all.”