5. Case of child domestic labour:
Case 1: Muni, 14 years.
Munni aged 14 was brought to Guwahati by one of her distant relative to work as a domestic help. Her father begs for livelihood, which isn't sufficient. Munni worked for two years as a domestic servant. During these two-year period she was not provided sufficient food, leisure time, and was also physically tortured. As a result she was very weak and suffering from IV grade mal nourishment.
The matter was brought to the notice of Guwahati CHILDLINE. The child was rescued from the house and provided immediate medical assistance at the Urban Health Centre, Ulubari. For a medical check-up, the child was admitted at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital. The matter was also brought to the notice of police.
The employer was contacted and asked to come to the CHILDLINE office, and asked to bear the child's medical expense along with the monthly dues, failing which he was informed that strict legal action would be taken against him. Munni was discharged from the hospital after 12 days and the entire expense was born by the employer.
Following her discharge she was provided counselling at the centre. Munni expressed her desire to learn some vocational course that would provide her a sustainable future. Following her consent she was admitted at the Swadhar Shelter Home. Also the owner paid an amount of rupees three thousand, which has been deposited in a fixed account in the child's name.
Case 2: Bhagya, 11 years.
11-year-old Bhagya hailing form Kammam District of Vijayawada was working as a domestic worker. Her employers were Government schoolteachers. Bhagya was frequently beaten and ill treated by the owners. On 25th March 2006 the child ran away and hid in a neighbouring house.
The matter was brought to the notice of ICDS, CDPO. The case was referred to Vijayawada CHILDLINE. CHILDLINE team informed the matter to the Project Directors of NCLP and Women and Child Development. The child was given medical treatment and provided temporary shelter. Team members contacted her parents and briefed them about their daughter.
A case was filed against the employers. CHILDLINE in collaboration with NCLP and Women & Child Development presented the case before the District Collector. An order was passed to suspend the employers, who are government employees. The child meanwhile is residing at the __ST hostel and pursuing her education.
Case 3: Neetha, 17 years.
Neetha, 17 years of age was brought into Bangalore CHILDLINE on 10th December 2005. She was found in a public place crying with unbearable pain on her wrist, arm and back.
During the interaction she revealed that she was from Bihar and was sent to her aunt's place in Punjab to help her in domestic work. She was placed in the house of one Mr. Sharma who in turn brought her to Bangalore to work as a domestic maid.
Neetha was made to work from morning 5.00 A.M to night 11. 00 P.M. Her employers mentally and physically abused her. She was often beaten with curtain rods, chappathi roller etc. Also she was not paid any salary for the eighteen months that she served the family. 9th December 2005 both Mr and Mrs. Sharma beat Neetha very badly for breaking a cup. Following morning, 10th December 2005 Neetha ran away from the house at four in the morning.
CHILDLINE registered a FIR under IPC, 323, 324/W 34. She was then taken to the hospital for a medical examination. Neetha was severely injured on her left wrist, arm, back and hips. A medico-legal case was filed.
She was produced before the CWC. During this course Neetha's mother along with the employer had filed a case against the CWC in the High Court. Following hearing from both the parties the High Court passed the order whereby the employers were charged Rs. 40,000 as compensation. Neetha has been restored to her family.
Case 4: Sneha, 13 years...
A group of concerned individuals gave a written petition to Thrissur District Collector informing about a 13-year-old girl, Sneha, employed in the house of a businessman. As per the petition the child was employed in the house nearly 3 years. CHILDLINE Thrissur conducted an enquiry into the matter.
CHILDLINE team collected information through neighbouring sources. During the first home visit the family was not at home. The team was unable to contact them. On a second visit the employer was at home, though initially the wife refused to release the child she finally let go the child with the team.
The child was produced before the CWC. During the session the girl revealed that she along with other girls from her hometown, kerala, was brought to Thrissur three years back for employment. During her stay with the family they abused her. She was not paid any wages for her work.
Sneha's father was contacted who appeared before the CWC with a certificate claiming that his daughter is 17 years old. On further probing it was found that the details given were false. The child was referred to temporary short stay shelter. In the next sitting of the CWC she was transferred to Calicut Children's Home. CHILDLINE is in the process of restoring the child to her family.
Case 5: Three children.
Three children were trafficked into Bhopal. The children were from Jharkand. All the three children were placed at different places for employment. The trafficker and the employers had a joint contract.
Mohan was employed as a domestic helper. As per the contract, Mohan had to work for the family for a period of two years. The child was not happy working for the family.
On the 22nd January 2006, the child called up Bhopal CHILDLINE at 1098 wanting to be rescued. The child was taken to the police station and a case was registered against the employers.
The employers were called to the CHILDLINE center and a compensatory amount of Rs.17,800 was collected from them. With police assistance efforts were made to trace the child's family. The whole process of tracing the child's family took more than 15 days, which was frustrating for the child.
On 13th February 2006 Mohan was handed over to his family along with the amount in the presence of the police