Chhattisgarh: 26 Child Labourers Rescued From Parle-G Biscuit Factory
Twenty-six children were rescued from Parle-G’s biscuit manufacturing plant by the District Task Force (DTF) of Raipur on Friday (14 June 2019).
Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), an NGO run by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, received a tip-off that Parle-G factory in Ama Seoni area has employed minors. Acting promptly on the tip-off and with help from Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), DTF carried out an operation and rescued 26 children from the Parle-G biscuit factory.
Most of the children were in the age group of 12-16 years, and belong to different states like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar. According to the statements given by the children, they worked from 8 am to 8 pm and received only Rs 5000- 7000 per month as wages.
“ It is a matter of great concern and disappointment that a manufacturer enjoying a countrywide reputation built on the trust of innumerable consumers, consisting largely of children, should be involved in the exploitation of children so openly”, said Shri Samir Mathur, CEO of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
The children were sent to State Government’s Children Home and an FIR was lodged under section 79 of JJ Act.
“We are hoping that Child Welfare Committee will add other sections too like Sec. 3, 3A, 14 of CLPRA and IPC-370,” said BBA activist in Raipur, who was also a part of the rescue.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan Initiative
The rescue operation is a part of BBA’s India Action Week which is running in the state to take action against employers of child labourers and was conducted in the area of Amasivni in Raipur.
BBA has been working tirelessly with the government authorities to spread awareness about child labour and strengthening their response mechanism. India Action Week is one such initiative where the organisation underpins the work of the government in rescuing victims of child labour across the country.
Under this campaign, BBA along with state governments, district administrations and local organisations conducts rescue operations. The Week commences from 12 of June every year, which also marks the World Day against Child Labour.
The Logical Indian Take
Parle G official handle on Twitter has received massive backlash from social media group “India for Children” and other activists who demand that the management issue a public apology and declare a new company policy to make a transparent and child labour free supply chain.
The company has said that the plant which was caught employing children is not run by Parle Products and is operated by a third party, sub-contractor. The company, with an annual turnover of over Rs 8,000 Crore, has shut the plant in question but hasn’t divulged details of their future course of action.
Ironically, Parle-G is also running social initiatives to protect child rights called, “Design For Change”, which boasts of being “the largest global movement for children by children”.
Hi Desh Raj, we are strongly against the use of child labour. This factory is not owned or run by Parle Products & is operated by a third-party, sub-contractor. We will investigate & take concrete action to address the situation as we do not tolerate the exploitation of children.
— Parle-G (@officialparleg) June 18, 2019
It is not the first time that a brand with a global presence has come into the spotlight for using children in the manufacturing units. This calls for a nation-wide debate on whether the products we consume on a daily basis are maligned with the exploitation of children. It could be your tea, your biscuits or any other food item that you consume on a daily basis.
It is important that brands such as Parle Products take stock of their supply chain and take effective remedial measures to eliminate and eradicate all forms of child labour and bonded labour.