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Child Labour Case Study

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'Operation Masoom' - a campaign against child labour in restaurants and dhabas in Meerut, India

Child Labour Case Study

With an increasing number of children being observed at restaurants and dhabas in Meerut, CHILDLINE and the Police undertook a campaign titled 'Operation Masoom' with the objective of rescuing children engaged in labour.

A meeting was held including CHILDLINE members, D.I.G, Akhil Kumar and police officials across Meerut, to construct and implement an intervention strategy for the restaurants and dhabas in Meerut.

As part of an intervention which was planned and carried out, 80 children, below the age of 14 years, were rescued from restaurants and dhabas. The team worked about 15-20 days as part of the campaign, observing the target groups. After identifying the labourers, the list was classified on the basis of police stations in different areas, such that the entire city of Meerut could be covered.

During the rescue, the children's name, age, employer name, address of the shop/dhaba along with other details was noted. The CHILDLINE team felt that it was imperative to provide a positive outlook to the people involved, be it the child who was a victim of child labour or the person who employed the child as a labourer or even the child's parents who allowed their child to work.

CHILDLINE Meerut moved on to provide counseling to all the children rescued and to their parents/guardians. A few children didn't have an option but to work due to poor conditions back home.

The children were produced before a CWC member who directed them to a temporary shelter home- Bal Sadan. Meanwhile, their addresses were traced, their parents were contacted and the children were sent back home.

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