The Hindu

Businessma­n told to compensate teenaged girls


He had employed them as domestic help for nearly four years

RAMANATHAP­URAM: A businessma­n in Coimbatore was made to pay a compensati­on of Rs 2.1 lakh to two teenaged girls from Erwadi for employing them as domestic help for nearly four years.

The two girls, aged 15 and 17, were allowed to visit their parents only once a year. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) recently received informatio­n and rescued them.

The CWC contacted G. Arulselvi, District Child Protection Officer here and after ascertaini­ng that the girls could be restored to their parents, brought them here on Friday and handed them over to Child Welfare Officer R. Sakunthala.

The businessma­n could not be booked under the Child Labour Act as the girls were above 14 years of age. So the CWC charged him with exploiting the girls after denying them education and made him pay compensati­on. As decided by the CWC, he paid Rs. 1.3 lakh to the 17-yearold girl and Rs. 80,000 to the 15year-old girl, Ms. Arulselvi said. The money has been deposited in a bank and the girls would be able to gain access to it once they turn 18.

Ms. Sakunthala said the girls were with their parents in Erwadi at present and after a counsellin­g session on November 17, the CWC would decide about the next course of action.

The 15-year-old girl wanted to pursue studies while the other said she was not interested in studies.

The 17-year-old girl, eldest of six children in the family, had dropped out from class VIII after her father became mentally affected. The girl’s mother sent her to work as she struggled to bring up her five other children.

The 15-year-old girl could not study after class X as her father died and her mother re-married, Ms. Sakunthala said.

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