When children become the currency to repay a loan, something must be
terribly, terribly wrong. Three months ago, a 13-year-old girl and her
six-year-old sister, the first and third among five girl children, were
left at the house of a man from whom their parents had borrowed Rs
34,000 nine months ago. They were unable to repay, so they gave the
children in exchange, as surety, till such time that they would try and
get the money.
"My mother gave me Rs 20 and said they would come
and take us later," said the teenager. She and her younger sister have
been at the home of an ironsmith in Mahatipur village in Karimnagar
district, where they worked like bonded labour for the ironsmith.
who noticed the children being badly abused complained to the police.
The teenager has told the cops that she was sexually abused by the
ironsmith when his wife was away.
The ironsmith admits the
parents left the children with him because they could not repay the loan
that now amounts to Rs 45,000. He, however, denies sexually exploiting
"I looked after them like my own children. They are
saying wrong things. The parents said they were not able to repay the
money. So I should keep the children till then," he says.
of wrongful confinement, outraging modesty and under the Bonded Labour
Act has been filed. The children have been handed over to the child
welfare committee. They will now be taken to a government-run child
welfare school-cum-hostel in Karimnagar. The parents of the girls are
being contacted.HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you want to help the two girls, you can send cheques or demand drafts in the name of: Meena and Uma (C/O District Collector, Karimnagar District)
State Bank of Hyderabad, Pragati Bhavan branch, Nizamabad Account Number:
Pragati Bhavan, Ntr X Roads, Nizamabad-503102FOR ONLINE TRANSACTIONS:IFSC Code:
(Since the girls are minors, the amount will be released when they reach the age of 18 years, along with interest accrued.)Note:
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