Four children in Tamil Nadu sold for Rs 62,000 by parents to a goat herder two years ago, were rescued with an NGO’s help on Monday.
The four siblings are Vetrivel (9), Velayutham (8), Sundar (6), and Sakthivel (9).
According to a Times of India report, the victims’ parents, who worked in a charcoal unit, sold their two older sons for Rs 50,000.
The report further suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown significantly impacted the parents’ livelihood, making it difficult for them to survive.
Govindarajan, the goat herd owner, approached the parents and persuaded them to sell the two younger boys for Rs 6,000 each. He also promised them that they would not be subjected to hard labour.
Govindarajan, on the other hand, sold the two children to relatives who tortured them.
The owner verbally and physically abused them, said an NGO committee member who rescued the children.
The owner was furious with the boys on the day they were rescued as one of the goats in the herd had gone missing, said a member of the rescue team, quoting the two older boys.
While recounting their ordeal, the rescued boys stated that they grazed the livestock for at least 10 km per day. The boys would begin their work early in the morning and finish at dusk. They also moved from one location to another, every three to four months.
Meanwhile, Thanjavur revenue divisional officer M Ranjith reportedly said that they have initiated action against Govindarajan for forcing the children into bonded labour.