With industries having closed post-Covid-19, feeding Lakhs of children was more than their employers had bargained for. With bus and train services resuming across states, such children are being bundled into them by the same traffickers who had brought them to labour hubs in the first place.
Recently, 29 children were reported to being put into buses at Dausa and Bharatpur in Rajasthan when activists from Childline and the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, along with the police, swung into action and rescued them. In this case also, the kids were carrying fake identity cards which showed their ages to be over 18, though it was clear that most of them were minors.
Nafih Mohammed Naser, a child rights activist has urged the state governments in India to use this ‘reverse migration’ as an opportunity to ensure that education and well-being of these children is taken care of by the state authorities and the children are never forced to return to the child labour hubs. “This is nothing but a blessing in disguise. Government and civil society should make the best use of this opportunity”, he said.