Another techie couple booked for child labour


Domestic help alleges she is 16 while the couple has her SSLC certificate which puts her age at 20


Close on the heels of a techie couple being booked for employing and abusing an under-age teen last week, another techie couple in Mahadevapura has been booked under sections of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. The domestic help in question says she is only 16 years old while the couple say that they have her school leaving certificate, according to which she is 20. The accused couple, identified as Sunil Mishra and Swastik Mishra, residents of Garudacharpalya, have not been arrested as they produced the SSLC certificate of domestic help.

The Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), an NGO working with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), received information from the child helpline that a 16-year-old girl has been employed as domestic help and babysitter at a techie’s house in Garudacharpalya. According to APSA, an alert citizen had given a tip-off with the child helpline (1098) and APSA members Sunanda and Susan Thomas approached the jurisdictional police for security to approach the couple’s house. Along with a couple of policemen, a head constable and a constable, they went to the techie’s house and obtained a statement from the girl.

In her statement to the APSA members, the girl said that she was brought from her village in Ganjam district in Odisha where her parents lived. She also told them that earlier her sister used to work at the techie’s house but in November, she had been brought to Bengaluru to work for the couple. Based on her statements, the APSA members prepared a report and rescued the girl from the house and took her to the state-run girls’ home where she is presently lodged.

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Reema’s parents who work in a labour shed close to the techie couple, Amith and Sanju Singh’s apartment, agreed to let their youngest daughter work for them for Rs 8000 a month. Reema has two older sisters, the eldest also works as a househelp.

The couple however disputed the girl’s claim. They said that according to the girl’s school leaving certificate, her age was 20. About 15 days ago Swastik Mishra had been hospitalised and when she returned home, she found a diamond ring missing. Two other domestic workers who came to the house accused the babysitter of stealing the ring.

A police source said that since she was in a dispute with her employers, the girl had got some of her friends to call the child helpline alleging that she was just 16. According to the police and the APSA members, even after the diamond ring went missing, the couple only reprimanded her but did not ill-treat her.

“We are contacting her school and taking statements from her family members to find out her real age. After this we will take action,” said a senior police officer.



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Sagar Biswas

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