Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kandhamal girls rescued

Kandhamal girls rescued from Mumbai bondage

The nuns learnt that these girls were not allowed to come out of the company as their agent has taken their salary and escaped.

Nine girls from Odihsa's riot-hit Khandamal district, who were forced into bounded labor in a Mumbai fish processing firm, were rescued with the help of Catholic nuns and voluntary agencies.

The attempts started July 14 when Holy Spirit Sister Julie of Streevani in Pune called up Bethany Sister Violet in Panvel, Mumbai, and said that some girls who are trafficked from Kandhamal are working in a fishing company at Taloja, Panvel.

The nuns learnt that these girls were not allowed to come out of the company and their agent has taken their salary and escaped.

Sister Violet and a MSFS priest at Taloja visited the factory in person without revealing our identity but the tight security at the gate did not allow them inside.

The nuns said they did not want to inform the police fearing that local police may help the factory owners move the girls to other places over night since trafficking is a big racket in Mumbai city.

They also contacted child helpline but were not satisfied with their directions, Sister Violet said in a note circulated to press. On July 16 they contacted a voluntary organization called Indian Rescue Mission.

The mission team worked out the strategy to raid the factory. On Friday with the help of Panvel Police commissioner and Labor commissioner, the organization members raided the place and found out that there are above 200 girls working and among them 97 are minors.

The four managers are arrested and in Jail and they are in search of the agents who brought these minors to work. The FIR under child labor has been filed against the Managers. The minors are shifted to remand home at Mumbai for further investigation and care of the children.

The 9 girls from Kandhamal received their three months salary that they were deprived of and have been sent back home with two social workers from Kandhamal.

The minors are from Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
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