By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore, May 11: Ten children under the age of 14 were caught while picking fish around 6 in the morning of Wednesday, May 11 at the old port at Bunder in the city.
Eleven departments deliberated and coordinated with the DC and decided to raid the Bunder port area early in the morning. The organizations that took part in the operation included the Women and child welfare committee, department of education, the police, city corporation, Wenlock and ESI hospitals and others.
Most of the children were migrants from Tamil Nadu. Their names have been given as Manikanta from Sirimangalam, Ranganath from Muthlikeri Badami, Ilavarasan from Pugaravalli, Subramnyyan, Siddappa from Badami, Dorairaj from Tamilnadu, Abdul Rasheed Ali from Ullal, and Armugham, Kalaisalvi and Satya Sundaram from Tamil Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to mangalorean.com, assistant labour commissioner Venkatesh Sindhi said, "We are conducting regular raids to check on child labour in all the sectors, particularly during the vacation time becuase most of the children are forced to work in various factories or industries or petty shops. Yesterday, we had a discussion on raiding the Bunder area because there are many children who are under 14 who steal fish and sell to retail buyers. Today, when the children were busy with their routine work we caught 10 children who are under 14 and took them into custody".
Further he said that all the 10 children would be kept in Bal Mandir Bondel. The team found that the children were not working under anyone. Action would be taken against anyone employing children under 14 or encouraging child labour. The penalty to be levied could range from Rs 10,000 to 20,000 and the employers could be jailed for 3 months to 1 year.
After investigation, a report will be submitted to the CWC, and the CWC court will hand over the children to their parents if they come forward with necessary supporting documents. If there will be no claim on the child then the CWC will shift the child to the rehabilitation centres like St Aloysian Boys Hostel. Ullal, Balakara Bala Mandir Bondel and Mangala Bala Saunrakshana Kendra, Kuttar Padav, he added.
Abdul Rasheed Ali, aged 19 years, who is at present doing a computer course at KEONICS was also caught during the raid. The relatives of Abdul were forcing Sindhi to release him on the spot. But all the children were sent to Bondel for further investigation, after they were examined by the government doctors in the DC office.