Bhubaneswar: Childline officials here Monday rescued a 12-year-old girl engaged as a housemaid from the residence of a retired Collector at IRC Village under Nayapalli police limits.
According to sources, the girl was trafficked from Berhampur in Ganjam district to the Capital city in November 2020. She was studying in Class VI when some alleged middlemen brought the girl to the city last year. Sources also revealed that victim’s father is a rickshaw puller in Ganjam.
The family living in abject poverty allowed the minor girl to work as a housemaid in Bhubaneswar, sources claimed.
Following a tip-off, the Childline team with the help of Nayapalli police rescued the victim from the ex-Collector’s residence.
Subsequently, the child was produced before Additional child welfare committee (CWC) who directed the child to be kept at a shelter home run by Viswa Jeevan Seva Sangha. The Childline foundation reportedly filed petitions before the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR), District Child Protection Officer, Khurda and DCP, Bhubaneswar in this regard.
A complaint has also been lodged with Nayapalli police. However, the police had not registered a case till the last report came in.
The Childline demanded exemplary action against the accused under Sections 70, 374, 342, 34 of the IPC and Sections 79 and 75 of Juvenile Justice Act 2015 ‘so that no one should dare to exploit the children and take advantage of their vulnerability’.
Speaking to Orissa POST, Benudhar Senapati, child rights activist and Director, Childline, Bhubaneswar, revealed that the incidents child trafficking escalated due to the financial strain on the poor during the lockdowns. The foundation had reportedly rescued 555 children here after the easing of lockdown in 2020.