Tamil Nadu: Four girls rescued from cotton fields in Siruvachur | Chennai News
The operation follows a November 2 TOI report (“Tamil Nadu tribal youths uprooted to grow cotton”) which revealed the trafficking of hundreds of tribal children from the Jawadhu, Vellimalai and Kalvarayan hills to manually pollinate cotton on farms located between Kallakuruchi and Salem. . She highlighted how children are often lured with money and new clothes before being taken by officers without their parents’ knowledge, to work nearly 15 hours a day in extreme weather conditions for negligible or non-existent remuneration.
Saturday, a team constituting the administrative officer of the village of Siruvachur (VAO); R Nirmala, Project Director, National Child Labor Project; L Ramesh, co-curator, labor, Salem; officials of Childline India; and some police officers reached Siruvachur at 8:30 am. The team went with leads based on a survey of tribal children carried out by the Tiruvannamalai District Labor Department a few weeks ago, with contributions from the TOI report.
âWe went with a list of 30 children who, according to the field report made in Jawadhu, would still work on the farms. an investigation, following which we were able to locate four girls – one from Vellimalai and three from Jawadhu Hills – who had been recruited as cheap agricultural workers to work in the cotton fields â, explains C Muthu, deputy commissioner for labor protection, Salem. âFarmland owners denied the allegations. We are waiting for documents to be provided on the girls to confirm their age, “Muthu said. Officials say action will be taken against traffickers and farmland owners on the basis of this report.
The rescued girls were placed in the care of the Child Protection Committee until they could be identified and returned to their families. Nirmala promised that surprise visits to farms will be carried out frequently, that awareness will be raised and that the entry of children into villages will be regulated throughout the year.
âAt the Grama Sabha meeting on January 26, we plan to get village chiefs and farmland owners written agreements that they will neither encourage nor engage in trafficking and child labor. But all district officials must join hands to provide alternative employment for children. and their families as a long-term plan, âshe said.