Bhubaneswar, May 1
Five child labourers were rescued by locals from a roadside eatery in Odisha’s Keonjhar district, an official said Thursday.
The children aged between 12-14 years were made to clean tables and utensils at the eatery at Jhumpura village, about 250 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, for the past many weeks, district official Ranjan Behera told IANS.
The matter came to light after the eatery owner allegedly denied food and abused them for not doing work properly.
A group of villagers rescued the children Wednesday and handed them over to the local child protection committee. The eatery owner has been booked for violating the state’s Child Labour (Pprohibition and regulation) Act, he said.
Although law prohibits the engagement of children as domestic workers and as workers in restaurants, dhabas, hotels and eateries, millions continue to do such work across India, said Ranjan Mohanty, a former national convener of the Campaign Against Child Labour.
Welcoming the community action, Mohanty said the government must also come out with appropriate rehabilitation plan for such children.