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Child labour at home- a widespread phenomenon in India
Sherin, a young orphan from Durgapur was working at the house of Dipak and Tapasi in Titagarh, West Bengal. Sherin was made to undertake all domestic chores such as cleaning, washing and babysitting an infant at the tender age of 10 years. She was not being paid any salary and was told that her earnings were sent to her family back home.
The plight of the child took a new turn when her employers accused her of stealing money from a piggy bank kept in the prayer room. She was threatened, beaten up with a cane in order to reveal the truth. Her employers turned a deaf ear to her repeated pleas for mercy.
Seething with rage, Dipak dragged her to the open air terrace and made her spend the night in the biting cold. Fortunately, a neighbour spotted the girl crouching and shivering on the terrace and called CHILDLINE for help.
CHILDLINE immediately visited the place to verify the authenticity of the complaint. The team found signs of torture on her little body. Later that day, the CHILDLINE team along with local police visited the house and rescued the girl amidst much drama.
As Sherin's injuries were severe, she was taken to BN Bose Road Hospital by the CHILDLINE team. The traumatized child had deep scars on her body when she was taken to hospital. "I was punished for every small mistake and the lady of the house often beat me, if i failed to obey her orders," told Sherin to CHILDLINE team.
The CHILDLINE Kolkata team filed an FIR against the couple under the Juvenile Justice Act, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and the Indian Penal Code. The girl has now been placed in the Girls' Home run by the State Women and Development Department.