Bangalore: A shocker from the IT city where 300 children who were trafficked, drugged and forced to beg have now been rescued by the Bangalore police. What's more shocking is that over a third of these children are infants, all under the age of three.
The infant are drugged and used all day to beg for money. They run when they notice the camera. Older kids too are tutored to hide and stay away from cameras and controlled by street bosses who are hardly seen
But it’s the chronic drugging of 108 rescued infants that's most shocking as some were asleep even two days after the rescue.
Rescue Worker Anita Kanaiya said, "It does affect their development, depending on how prolong the drug use has been and how much they've been subjected to this kind of torture because they are out during the day in the sun."
Most of the kids rescued are now at government homes. Some never want to go back home.
A rescued beggar said, "My parents sent me to beg they said don't come home empty-handed. If I took less than Rs 200 back they used to beat me."
"Many of these babies we're not sure they belong to the adults, we're not even sure the adults are relatives or not. Many who have claimed the babies are theirs have no proof really," Kanaiya said.
The police are yet to nab the masterminds, but say they have video evidence of close to 1100 children being forced to beg by suspected traffickers on the streets of Bangalore.
Anti-Trafficking Unit Inspector Anand Kabburi said, "Mostly these children are from neighbouring state Andra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh and totally we have booked nine such cases."
"One of the aims of this operation 'Rakshane' is to see the connection between child beggary and child trafficking," Kanaiya said.
The battle against this cruel exploitation that has just started and so far only 30 per cent of those surveyed have been rescued, police say the number of child beggars have risen in the last few months and the child traffickers who are arrested easily manage to get bail and that is encouraging this crime across the country.