4 Children rescued from bondage

The Statesman Delhi, December 23, 1995

NEW DELHI: For them the day would start at 4 am and end at 12 p.m. The routine continued for three long years and so did their ordeal before they were rescued by the Bonded Liberation-Front on December 12. Four boys, Ajay Parswan, 9, Mahendra Prajapati, 12, Basant Kumar, 13 and Ajay Mehto. 16, were bonded labourers at a carpet loom owned by Motilal Gurah, in Handia.

These children and their parents were lured with promises of a better tomorrow and taken to Handia three years back.For the past three years, the children were not allowed to go back and neither were their parents allowed to meet them.

The loom owner, before taking the boys along, had told their parents that the money earned by them would be sent regularly. None of the promises were kept and instead the children were subjected to inhuman treatment. These boys were always watched over the made to work in the loom after being locked from outside. Narrating their harrowing experiences the boys said, "apart from being beaten on minor pretext we were not given food to eat and were woken up abruptly in middle of the night and forced to work."

Ajay, youngest of the lot said, "we were also made to work on Motilal's field when we not working at the loom."The children recuperating from the shock and trauma they of the past three years looked visibly relieved and were looking forward to being with their parents again.All of them expressed the hope of pursuing their studies and helping their parents.