The Delhi Police have issued a lookout notice against a doctor couple who had locked a 13-year-old maid inside their Dwarka apartment and went holidaying in Thailand.
Sanjay Verma, his wife Sumita and their daughter were scheduled to return on Saturday. But they did not turn up as the story of their illegal detention of the maid came out into the open and the police booked them in a criminal case.
The lookout notice means they can’t escape and airport authorities would be alerted whenever they land in India. The maid was rescued on March 29 after six days of captivity. But this is not just an isolated case. Experts claimed the slavelike treatment of a minor maid by a respectable family is hardly an exception. They said that around 80 per cent of the minors rescued in the Capital were in the employ of educated middle-class and upper middleclass families. They also rued the lack of proper rehabilitation process after such rescue operations that makes many victims prone to exploitation again.
The two organisations working for child rights and other social issues in the Capital – Bachapan Bachao Andolan and Shakti Vahini – claim to have rescued around 220 maids last year. The organisations are not satisfied by the post-rescue procedure followed as there is no law to guide such operations. According to reports, the domestic workers Bill has not been tabled in Parliament since 2008, which could have helped in formulating laws for employing domestic labour and saved many such minor victims.
Shakti Vahini, the NGO that rescued the 13 year-old-maid, has rescued around 325 victims of trafficking since February 2010 out of which around 162 were child labour victims.