Six of seven rescued children sent to childcare institutions

They were rescued from a farmhouse in Karikala village of Sullia taluk

Six of the seven children, who were rescued from a farmhouse in Karikala village of Sullia taluk on Friday, were housed in two childcare institutions. One child, who is three-years-old, has been left with the mother.

Following a complaint to the Directorate of Child Protection, a team from the district administration comprising Sullia Tahsildar Anita Lakshmi, the Child Development Project officer, the Labour Inspector, Sullia police, and representatives of Bachpan Bachavo Andolan, visited the farmhouse of Vishwanath Bhat.

They found the three-year-old child and six children aged between 10 and 12 in the house. They were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Saturday.

CWC Chairman Renni D’Souza said these seven children lived with their mothers in the house of Mr. Bhat. Some of these women have lost their husbands, while others have left their husbands following domestic dispute.

These women have told CWC that Mr. Bhat was taking care of them. Apart from paying wages for the women working in the farm, Mr. Bhat was paying for the education of their children.

As representatives of andolan have accused Mr. Bhat of bonded labour and forcing children to work in the farm, Mr. D’Souza said the CWC has directed the Labour Department and the office of District Child Protection Officer to submit separate reports. Decision on sending the six children back to their mothers will be taken after going through the reports, he said.

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