23 children from West Champaran District ‘study’ in a KR Pet seminarian school
The children from faraway Bihar landed up in Bangalore on Wednesday, headed for a madrasa in KR Pet in the State.The Karnataka Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KCPCR) found 23 children, who had travelled hundreds of kilometres from Bihar's West Champaran district to the City, for religious education.
Suspecting child trafficking, Yeshwantpur railway rural police took in the children, all boys aged between 4 and 13 years and from West Champaran district of Bihar when they landed at the Yeshwantpur Railway station in the morning. Haroon Rasheed, a cleric at the Madrasa Arabia Ameena, who along with his family accompanied the children to the City, said the children were students of the madrasa.
However, the children and Rasheed were let go by KCPCR after people from the madrasa brought documents proving their credentials and the station Inspector spoke to the parents of a few children in Bihar.
The KCPCR has asked the madrasa officials to present the children in front of the Mandya Child Welfare Committee as soon as possible and has also sent orders to the deputy director of Women and Child Development Department and Mandya SP to conduct an inquiry and send the report. The incident came to notice, when the probation officer from the Government Boys’ Home was returning after dropping a couple of children in Bihar. In the train, she saw the children and suspected something was amiss. She then informed the police and the Karnataka Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KCPCR). When the group alighted at Yeshwantpur railway station, the police promptly escorted them to the police station. "The madrasa gives two months’ vacation during Ramzan. These boys had gone to their villages for the festival. We were returning to KR Pet via Bangalore, when the police escorted us here," said Rasheed. He said the parents of the boys, a majority of whom are stone cutters, had sent them to study at the madrasa. The madrasa has 30 students in total.
Meanwhile, KCPCR Chairman Nina Naik said while Rasheed had a letter signed by the Sarpanch to escort nine children, the letter was addressed to some other person. The madrasa generates funds by collecting public donations. The Commission also planned to complain to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights as well as the Bihar government about lack of educational institutes in the villages these children hailed from.
"The State should also regulate young children taken to other States for education," she felt.