Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Facebook post helped to rescue a child worker

Chennai, February 4: Facebook posts are not full of fantasy messages.A BE student in Tiruchy learnt about Chidline helpline (1098) through Facebook and alerted the volunteers to rescue a 12-year-old boy who was bought by a trader in Ramanathapuram for Rs 50,000. The trader has been remanded and the child worker is in a care home for rehabilitation.

Mechanical engineering student M. Vijaykumar said Facebook posts and media reports on Childline helped him know about the problems of child workers and how to rescue them through Childline. "I visited my native town Manickamkottai in Ramnad last week. I found Ravi tending a large herd of goats. I learnt from my friends that Ravi has been working for the past one year under a local trader named Udaiyar. And Ravi's family sent him to work because of poverty," he told me.
Vijaykumar said during his interaction with Ravi he understood that he worked almost 20 hours a day. "He was half-clad and half-fed. He cried convulsively when asked about visiting his family. Udaiyar did not feed him properly and not allowed to be with his poor mother who was ditched by his father. I alerted Childline and told them all the details about Ravi," Vijayakumar said.
Childline director S. Devaraj and coordinator K. Balamurugan along with local officials rescued Ravi and filed a complaint with the police about the child being exploited as a bonded labourer. "Ravi told us that he had to take care of 132 goats. He was severely beaten up if a goat went missing. Udaiyar has been remanded; Ravi will be produced before the child welfare committee shortly," Balamurugan said.