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Six minors rescued

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ChildFund staff have rescued six minors from a State Transport bus in Udaipur. They were being trafficked to to work as child labourers, an official said Tuesday.

A man who was taking the children along was arrested and is being interrogated.

The children, in the age group of 12 to 16 years, were sent to a shelter Monday night after the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairperson (Udaipur district), Manju Verma, visited them and requested the police to take appropriate action.

Joseph Mathew, coordinator of ChildFund India's special anti-trafficking project in Udaipur, said he and his colleague Hemlata Verma saw a middle-aged man with six children boarding a bus at Gogunda in Udaipur district. Mathew and Verma were in the same bus and returning home after work.

"We could sense there was something wrong about the man and his activities. I asked my colleague to start a conversation with the kids, seated next to her. The idea was to know about the children and where they were being taken," Mathew said.

"From whatever discussion we had, we learnt that the kids were being trafficked to Gujarat to work as child labourers. We immediately tried to contact every possible official who could help us rescue them."

"Thankfully, we managed to contact additional superintendent of police, Udaipur district, Sudhir Joshi who guided us till the children were finally rescued," he added.

ChildFund India has been working in the region for over five years with a focus on eliminating child trafficking, rampant in the area.

Children from the state are trafficked to Gujarat to work in BT cotton fields. Though the situation has improved over the years, cases of trafficking still surface.

ChildFund India, part of ChildFund International and one of the oldest and largest international child development organisations in the world has been working in India since 1951 with child-centred programme expertise and unique interventions with changing needs. At present, ChildFund India assists 1.68 million children and families across the country.

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