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Trekkers being served by child labourers

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 8 � Rampant violation of traffic rules and regulations in the capital city is nothing new, nor is overloading of trekkers. But, of late, trekkers operating in Guwahati have become a source of employment for the underaged.

Last month itself, a joint drive by the Labour department and the office of district transport office, Kamrup, managed to rescue 12 children who were employed by the trekker owners mostly as handymen.

Official sources say that these children, mostly aged between 11-16 years, are employed against Rs 1,000 to Rs 1500 and most of them were found exposed to alcohol and tobacco made products.

What is even more worrying is that the number of such children keeps on increasing day by day, the sources pointed out.

�The drive against child labour will continue but to do away with the menace, the general public need to be aware and responsible,� the sources stated, adding that more than 100 underage children are directly or indirectly employed by the private transporters in the Kamrup district alone.

According to the figures available with the office of the district transport officer, over 1,000 trekkers run in the Guwahati city only.

J Handique, an official of the Enforcement Wing, DTO (Kamrup) told The Assam Tribune that the risky transporting of passengers who travel literally hanging from the vehicle to reach their respective destinations, has emerged as the major source of headache for the law enforcers.

�These people are the vulnerable lot. Until and unless the passengers themselves become aware and conscious, effective enforcement will continue to remain a distant dream. The answer to gross violation of traffic rules and the vulnerability of passengers to road mishaps lies in the hand of the people. The law enforcers can only facilitate,� he said, informing that the DTO, from time to time, had fined the drivers and the trekker owners for violating rules.

Another senior official of department said, �There are plans to initiate a massive awareness drive in the State, especially in Guwahati, to make the people aware of the existing trend of road mishaps and the possible ways to tackle them.�

On issuance of licence to minors, the official said, �No such cases have come to the fore in recent times and frequent drives are being conducted.�

Meanwhile, a senior Assam Police (Traffic), when asked, informed that police along with the office of the DTO, in the last one year or so, has tightened the noose on trekker drivers and the culprits have also been booked.

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Trekkers being served by child labourers

GUWAHATI, Feb 8 � Rampant violation of traffic rules and regulations in the capital city is nothing new, nor is overloading of trekkers. But, of late, trekkers operating in Guwahati have become a source of employment for the underaged.

Last month itself, a joint drive by the Labour department and the office of district transport office, Kamrup, managed to rescue 12 children who were employed by the trekker owners mostly as handymen.

Official sources say that these children, mostly aged between 11-16 years, are employed against Rs 1,000 to Rs 1500 and most of them were found exposed to alcohol and tobacco made products.

What is even more worrying is that the number of such children keeps on increasing day by day, the sources pointed out.

�The drive against child labour will continue but to do away with the menace, the general public need to be aware and responsible,� the sources stated, adding that more than 100 underage children are directly or indirectly employed by the private transporters in the Kamrup district alone.

According to the figures available with the office of the district transport officer, over 1,000 trekkers run in the Guwahati city only.

J Handique, an official of the Enforcement Wing, DTO (Kamrup) told The Assam Tribune that the risky transporting of passengers who travel literally hanging from the vehicle to reach their respective destinations, has emerged as the major source of headache for the law enforcers.

�These people are the vulnerable lot. Until and unless the passengers themselves become aware and conscious, effective enforcement will continue to remain a distant dream. The answer to gross violation of traffic rules and the vulnerability of passengers to road mishaps lies in the hand of the people. The law enforcers can only facilitate,� he said, informing that the DTO, from time to time, had fined the drivers and the trekker owners for violating rules.

Another senior official of department said, �There are plans to initiate a massive awareness drive in the State, especially in Guwahati, to make the people aware of the existing trend of road mishaps and the possible ways to tackle them.�

On issuance of licence to minors, the official said, �No such cases have come to the fore in recent times and frequent drives are being conducted.�

Meanwhile, a senior Assam Police (Traffic), when asked, informed that police along with the office of the DTO, in the last one year or so, has tightened the noose on trekker drivers and the culprits have also been booked.