In the month of April, 2015, a young 16 year old boy, known as Kishan Kumar, had traveled from Jharkhand to West Bengal in search of work. In having found a job in construction, he was offered residency close to his workplace along with other migrant workers. After 2 days he began realizing that his employer demanded long working hours and little to no time for breaks. Furthermore, a week would go past without him having eaten the sufficient amount of food that a labourer should consume. Although these forms of injustice manifested themselves, Kishan felt disheartened in response to his inability to challenge his employer. It must be noted that if this was the case, it was because he was unaware of his rights as a labourer.
While on the way to work on the 8th day of employment, Kishan had lost his way due to a strong amount of fatigue. He came across a young woman known as Laxshmi Banerjee. Upon seeing him, Laxshmi became extremely worried as to his lack of awareness and visible signs of deep undernourishment. Insisting that he would accompany her to her home, she quickly contacted Devika and Manju Toppo, both field workers of Darjeeling Mary Ward Social Centre. A few hours later, they had arrived at Lakshmi's home where they revealed to Kishan an awareness of the rights that he possses. By the end of the conversation, Kishan had developed the courage to approach the police and explain to them his personal circumstance. Manju and Devika, in turn, had accompanied him and assisted him in the filling of his migrant report. He was later on handed over to CINI under the supervision of DMWSC. From there he would go to be rehabilitated through participating in a program entitled ''Child Welfare Committee.”
Disclaimer : The identities of the victim and of associated characters have been modified.
Documented by Benjamin Branco