In a horrific case of torture and child labour in Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar, an 11-year-old girl was assaulted in Nayapalli while she was illegally employed as a house help. Residents and officials of a non-profit, Childline, rescued her from a street on Tuesday. She was in a serious condition as she had been assaulted several times, officials said.
On Tuesday morning, her employer assaulted her yet again, and when she could not get up, the employer dropped her on the road. Childline officials said they took her to a hospital and informed the police.
“We got a complaint about a serious case where a child was brutally abused. She was suffering on the road. We have admitted her to Capital Hospital. She is a very small child, about 11 years old,” Benudhar Senapati from Childline told reporters.
“There are injuries all over her body, including the chest areas and private parts. She was traumatised. She said she was employed as a house help. The employer, his wife and her son beat her up every day for any deficiency in work,” Mr Senapati said.
When she could not get up due to the beatings, her employer brought her on a scooty and threw her near Nayapalli police station, Childline authorities said.
Doctors at Capital Hospital said she has suffered multiple fractures and has injury marks all over her body.
For the past three months, she had been thrashed by the employer, his wife and son with iron rods and sticks, Childline alleged. The non-profit’s authorities said the child told them she was also tortured with a safety pin.
The accused, Bibhuti and his wife Sonali Patsani, have been arrested based on a complaint by Childline. Their minor son is being questioned.
“All the talk and campaigns about child rights and prevention of child labour seem confined to dinner tables and TV studio discussions only. It is unfortunate that such a ghastly incident has taken place in the state capital. Exemplary punishment should be given to the culprits,” BJP leader Upasna Mohapatra told NDTV.
“I appreciate the prompt action taken by the NGO and the police and sincerely appeal to the collective conscience of people to desist from exploiting children,” Ms Mohapatra said.
The police said the child comes from a poor family and is the third among four girls and a boy in the family. Her father left them and her mother is a labourer.