Over 90% of the children rescued from situations involving child labour in the capital by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) are from illegal factory units like the one where a fatal fire killed 43 people Sunday, the organisation revealed in the incident’s aftermath.
Of the 43 lives lost in the blaze at Old Delhi’s Anaj Mandi, at least five were minors. The building in which the fire took place — and many others in the locality — housed illegal manufacturing units operating at different floors, despite the area being notified as a residential one.
BBA is an NGO under the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. It has rescued 8,918 children from different industrial units since 2005. In a new report, the organisation has found that 8,408 children — or 94% of the total rescues — were from illegal units like the one in Anaj Mandi.
“In almost all the raids, BBA activists found that the mass of child labour employed in thousands of illegal factories — mostly hazardous — operate under the watch of police, the labour department and civic authorities… On visiting such areas, one can find there is no safety exit available in case of a fire hazard or any accident,” said BBA spokesperson Sampurna Behura.
Of the 43 dead, most were migrant labourers from Bihar, UP and Jharkhand. BBA’s analysis of children rescued from illegal manufacturing units across Delhi shows that 54% were from Bihar, and 22% from UP. Apart from that, 7% were from West Bengal, 3% from Jharkhand, and 6% from Delhi itself.
The highest incidence of these rescues came from North East Delhi at 18%, followed by Central Delhi (16%), BBA said.