Mangaluru: ‘Cream Caramel’- a cake baking unit located on Arya Samaj Road here which is famous for creating awesome custom-made cakes has made headline-news – not for being one of the best cake creators, but for hiring juveniles hailing from Odisha at their baking unit. The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and Childline on Wednesday rescued three girls and a boy while working at this unit. Officials raided this firm following a tip-off about juveniles being employed there. The establishment is owned by two partners- P Shetty and D Fernandes.
DCPU and Childline personnel found two 17-year-old girls and a 16-year-old boy working in the unit. Later when the same personnel visited one of the firm owner’s house, they found a 12-year-old girl working as a housemaid. These children have accused the owner of the unit of harassment. The officials learnt from these juveniles that the owners of ‘Cream Caramel’ always harassed these employees and made them work long hours without paying extra money, and many a times not even paying them their salaries.
The juveniles have also complained to the Childline officials that they were kept under like ‘House-Arrest’ by not allowing them to step out of the unit and also restricted them from phone calls to their family members in Odisha. These juveniles who have been in the city for the last five months, got hired at this baking unit while looking for jobs.
Labour department officials are looking whether the unit owner had violated provisions of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, and the Child Welfare Committee will inquiry about alleged violation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act. All four children were produced before the Child Welfare Committee. The committee has rehabilitated these children in safe care taking institutions.