Thrissur/Bhubaneswar: Childline activists rescued 10 Odia girls who were being taken to the convents in Kerala for domestic work. The activists also handed over to Thrissur railway police three men and a woman suspected to be the agents engaged in the trafficking of girls.
Six of the girls were rescued from a Hyderabad-Kollam train that arrived at Thrissur railway station 9 am Saturday. Suspecting that the girls were being trafficked, the Childline activists questioned the woman and two men who were accompanying the girls and noticed that the ages mentioned in the identification documents of the girls were under 18. The group was de-trained at Aluva station with the help of Railway Police.
Two other girls were found with a nun. Childline took into its care one of these girls, who was found to be a minor. It was revealed that this child was employed as a domestic help with a convent at Mapranam in Iringalakkuda. One other girl was found with another pair of nuns and two more girls were found on the railway station premises. They revealed that they were on their way to Aluva to work as domestic helps.
After the girls were presented before the Child Welfare Committee, eight of the girls were transferred to the Snehitha Centre at Poothol and two were taken to the Women’s Home there. The identification documents these children had were found to be fake.
The police have gathered information from the nuns that the girls were working at two convents in Kottayam. They were being taken to these institutions on the pretext that they would be skilled in housekeeping and embroidery but were actually working in the kitchens there. They were being paid Rs 6,000 a month and their typical workday spanned 5am to 9pm.
“Children from Odisha are being brought as domestic helps to several convents in Kerala. Strong action will be initiated against such institutions,” KJ Jenny, coordinator, railway childline help desk, said.