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10 teenage boys, allegedly trafficked Dial for Help from Indian shoe Factory in Karnataka

More than half of India’s child laborers work in the agricultural sector and over a quarter, labor in the manufacturing segment

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(Representational Image) A young Indian boy working as a labor. Flickr
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Chennai, India. October 29, 2016: 10 Indian teenage boys, allegedly trafficked and held captive in a shoe sole factory in Karnataka, have been rescued by the police after the needy kids sent a tip-off from a Children’s Helpline.

Activists have reported that hundreds of children, mostly hailing from the poverty-stricken rural areas of states like Bihar are brought to Bengaluru of Karnataka by agents hiring them out to unscrupulous employers or selling the kids as contractual labor.

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In an interview over the telephone, an 18-year-old teenager Adhir Paswan reported to Thomson Reuters Foundation, “I sneaked out one night and bought a telephone card, I made the distress call to our families and a helpline in Bihar. We were not being paid and the younger boys were being beaten and abused.”

Another boy, 17, stated that he has not been paid in a year.

6 boys from Bihar were rescued from a decoration-manufacturing factory in Bengaluru, earlier this month.

The number of child laborers in India who are aged between 5 and 17 is about 5.7 million out of 168 million worldwide- as estimated by the International Labor Organization in 2015.

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More than half of India’s child laborers work in the agricultural sector and over a quarter, labor in the manufacturing segment. The government has very recently amended the Child Labor Law in order to permit the children to work to help their families and to cut down the number of banned occupations for the adolescents.

The rescue team included the Association for Promoting Social Action which is a charity, running a helpline in Bengaluru. A member of the association, Lakshapathi Pendyala, made a statement to the Thomas Reuters Foundation, saying “The sole factory was a miserable place, and the boys were working from nine in the morning to nine at night. They were made to sleep in the workplace only, which was filled with the smell of glue used in sticking the soles. Several chemicals and glues were being used by the boys without any protection and some of the boys had deep cuts on their palms.”

The rescuers reported in a statement that the boys, who were working as the laborers, were aged between 14 and 18 and were brought to Bengaluru by almost five different traffickers from the Sitamarhi district in Bihar.

In the accounts to the officials, the boys reported that none had the permission to visit or call their families and they were forced to work all through the day with little breaks for meals only.

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Paswan claimed that they were promised wages of 7000 rupees each month and after sending the money to the families for a few months, the payments were discontinued.

Police have registered a case against the owner of the factory and two traffickers under the anti-slavery legislation. They arrested two and the factory owner is at large, investigating police, reported in an interview, requesting anonymity.

-prepared by NewsGram team with inputs from Reuters.

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Ruchika Kumari

    We need more strict laws in favour of child labour abolition

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC