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New Delhi: According to estimates by child labour activists, there are at present roughly five lakh child labourers scattered in the nine districts in Delhi. Of these, around one lakh are domestic child labourers and ragpickers, with most of the ragpickers found in Okhla, Tughlaqabad, Rangpuri Pahari, Bhalswa Dairy and Jahangirpuri.
Many of these children are working in the zari manufacturing and leather accessory units that mushroom in the city overnight, claim activists. According to studies conducted by activists, the northwest district of Delhi has emerged the most notorious for housing these child labourers.
“Most of these children are carefully hidden inside rented accommodation in residential colonies where they work till late into the night. Their employers keep shifting within the same area every few months. This is why raids need to be conducted as soon as any of these units are identified,” explained an activist.
Northwest Delhi is divided into the organized and unorganized sector with industrial areas like Wazirpur, Narela, Bawana, Mangolpuri and Badli engaging children to make plastic bore bags, toys, branded leather shoes and bags. The unorganized sector in areas like Keshavpuram, Rampura, Trinagar, Kirari, Mubarakpur, Sultanpuri, Sultan Majra and Sirspur engage children to make duplicate shoes, bags, leather purses and export-quality leather bags. Children are also engaged in zari work, rexin and plastic work, explain activists.
Child labour is also a common sight in various dhabas and hotels in Model Town and Shahbad Dairy.
Northeast and south Delhi follow closely in employing child labourers with a large number of children engaged in labour in areas like Seelampur, Bhajanpura, Chauhan Bagad, Loni, Khajuri and Welcome among others. Aram Park in Khureji Khash has been identified as housing several zari manufacturing units that employ children. Bindi and leather work is done by children in Rithala, Usmanpur and Ghonda while nickel polishing units are in Nand Nagri and Noor-e-Elahi.
“South Delhi is a labour-prone district with ragpickers and export clothing industries flourishing in areas like Jaitpur, Kotla Mubarakpur and Tughlaqabad. In Govindpuri, child labourers are commonly employed in manufacturing covered buttons for imported suits and high-class zari embroidery work in Kotla Mubarakpur,” explained Rakesh Senegar, national secretary for Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
Child labourers employed in dhabas in Najafgarh and Kapasheda, in zari work for export to Arab and western countries in Raghu Nagar and in domestic labour in government officials’ residences in areas like Hemkunt Colony and Pandara Park are commonplace, explained Senegar.
Meanwhile, a new trend noticed in Jharoda village is shellac pasting on glass bangles. “Children, mostly girls, are seen pasting shellac onto glass bangles all day long. There is a huge demand for these bangles which are then sold in high-end shops. This used to take place in UP and other areas but this kind of work has now started in Delhi as well,” explained a child labour activist.
Slippers and toys are manufactured by children in several small factories in Inderlok, Shahjazabad, Sarai Rohilla, Haraz Khana, Fatehpuri and Katra in Atma Ram among others.
Ten thousand-odd children are employed in Nabi Karim in manufacturing zari work, screen printing, shoes, leather ladies bags among others. Areas inside in Karol Bagh are known for employing children to make fine jewellery.
Dens Of Child Labour
ORGANISED: PLASTIC BORE BAGS, TOYS, BRANDED LEATHER SHOES AND BAGS | Wazirpur, Narela, Bawana, Mangolpuri, Badli (all industrial areas)
UNORGANISED: DUPLICATE SHOES AND BAGS, LEATHER PURSES, ZARI WORK, RACCINE AND PLASTIC WORK, EXPORT QUALITY LEATHER BAGS | Keshavpuram, Rampura, Trinagar, Kirari, Mubarakpur, Sultanpuri, Sultan Majra, Sirspur
Model Town, Shahbad Dairy
MOSTLY ZARI, BINDI AND LEATHER WORK | Seelampur, Bhajanpura, Chauhan Bagad, Aram Park in Khureji Khash, Loni, Khajuri, Welcome, Rithala, Usmanpur, Ghonda
NICKEL POLISHING | Nand Nagri, Noor-e-Elahi
DHABA/HOTELS, ZARI WORK |
Bhajanpura, Noor-e-Elahi SOUTH
ZARI WORK | Jamia Nagar, Batla House, Sarai Kale Khan, Garhi gaon, Bharat Nagar (in south Delhi)
MANUFACTURING COVERING BUTTONS FOR IMPORTED SUITS | Govindpuri
ZARI AND SHOE MAKING WORK, IMPORTED BUTTONS ON SHIRTS | Devli village, Sangam Vihar, Shahpur Jat
HIGH CLASS ZARI EMBROIDERY WORK |
Tughlaqabad, Kotla Mubarakpur
CLOTHING MANUFACTURING UNITS FOR EXPORT | Jaitpur
DHABA/HOTELS | Najafgarh
ZARI WORK FOR IMPORTED CLOTHES FOR EXPORT TO ARAB AND WESTERN COUNTRIES | Kapasheda, Raghu Nagar, Dabri
DHABA/HOTELS | Kapasheda
DHABA/HOTELS | New Delhi
CHILD DOMESTIC LABOUR IN GOVT
OFFICIALS’ RESIDENCES | Hemkunt
Colony and Pandara Park
SHELLAC PASTING ON GLASS
BANGLES | Jharoda village
TOYS, SLIPPERS | Inderlok,
Shahjazabad, Sarai Rohilla,
Farash Khana, Fatehpuri, Chandni
Chowk, Burari, Sadar, Katra in Atma Ram, Dara ki hata
10,000-ODD CHILDREN IN ZARI WORK, SCREEN PRINTING, SHOES, LEATHER LADIES BAGS |
SHELLAC MANUFACTURING FOR HANDICRAFT ITEMS | Shakur ki Dandi, LNJP Colony, Daryaganj
SCREEN PRINTING, BAGS FOR OFFICIALS, JUTE/PLASTIC BAGS | Siddhipura, Karol Bagh
JEWELLERY WORK | Regharpura and Beadonpura in Karol Bagh
DHABA HOTELS, RAG PICKING |
Sadar Bazar, Paharganj
FOOTWEAR AND DOMESTIC LABOUR:
Karampura, Punjabi Bagh, Madipur, Naresh Park in Nangloi
IMPORTED RICE/ATTA BAG SEWING, LEATHER BAGS:Peeragarhi (both industrial as well as unorganized sector)
SCRAP MARKET Mundka
CHAPPAL FACTORIES, DHABA HOTELS, ZARI UNITS: Aram Park in Khureji Khash, Geeta Colony, Preet Vihar, Kalyanpuri, Trilokpuri, Shakarpur
GARAGES: Mayur Vihar
Source: Bachpan Bachao Andolan