Whilst much of the work we do is with people who have already had contact with us and know who we are, such as in the Balghars or with Balsena, sometimes we find a situation where we need to intervene much more directly. Such a situation arose on Tuesday the 13th of April when someone close to Shaishav was driving into Bhavnagar along a road which is currently being resurfaced and spotted several young children working behind a truck spreading tar.
As soon as we heard about this, a team was dispatched from the Shaishav’s crescent office with the aim of taking pictures of the working children to use as evidence against the local government, which was employing these children through a contractor, and was clearly breaking the law. Driving past the work site we found at least 4 working children, 2 of them working behind a tar truck, spreading the burning tar on the road with little to no protection from either the scalding heat or the toxic gasses, let alone the 44°C midday heat. Thankfully we managed to snap some pictures without attracting too much attention and drove back to the office where our director quickly got on the phone to local government officials. After being passed around from official to official, we eventually managed to secure a Labour Commission raid on the contractor, and cases have been opened concerning two of the children.
While we see many working children each day in India it is disappointing to find children being employed by the government, especially in such dangerous work, but this only highlights the scale of the problem we face. Hopefully we’ll gain some more information about the progress of the Labour Commission’s case withing the next few days. We’ll aim to update you as soon as possible.