What do you do when you see a minor house help in trouble?
news Monday, August 11, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | August 11, 2014 | 12.17 pm IST The 13-year-old girl from Darjeeling who was allegedly abused by an Assamese couple in Bangalore, has told the police that she was beaten, tied up before being allowed to sleep and did not give her enough food to eat. The police recorded her statement on Sunday, and the Child Welfare Committee will do so on Monday. Police have also initiated efforts to contact her grandmother as her parents are no more, Deccan Herald reported. The child was taken to Nimhans by Nikunj Todi and left there in an unconscious state. She has since been shifted to three different hospitals and is now in the government Victoria Hospital.Â She was brought to Bangalore in June by Nikunj Todi and his wife Nafeesa to work in their house.Â Despite many cases of children being abused after being hired as domestic help by affluent families, there are always appear to be more such cases. Former chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for the Protection Child Rights Nina P Nayak told The News Minute that people need to take â€śpublic responsibilityâ€ť for children. She said it was not hard to figure out when a child had been hired as domestic help. She said that all one had to do was to call the 1098 number and report to the authorities that a child had been hired as domestic help.Â In 2006, the government of India included domestic work and employment in roadside eateries in the list of hazardous employment. This made it an offence to hire children below the age of 14 as domestic help. She also urged citizens to play a more pro-active role and take â€śresponsibility for our childrenâ€ť. She said such efforts were necessary to â€śhelp a childâ€™s futureâ€ť. She said that Resident Welfare Associations must take the initiative and collectively decide to not employ children. Along with that, she said it was necessary that people report to the authorities when they learned that children were employed in a particular place. All one had to do was make a call to 1098. "In this case, people knew (what was happening to her), and she went through so much trauma." Asked why despite reporting on cases of child labour in houses, did people continue to hire children, Nayak said that one reason was that the judiciary was slow in conducting trial in such cases, and that affluent people could get â€śhigh-flyingâ€ť lawyers to represent them.Â She said that prominent lawyers must also have a sense of â€śmorality and ethicsâ€ť in such cases and refrain from taking up cases of such people.