Meghalaya: Minor girl, sent to Delhi to work as domestic help, rescued & sent home by KSU members

The girl hails from a border village in the Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya. 

A minor girl, who was sent to Delhi to work as a domestic help in 2019, was rescued and brought back to Meghalaya by members of the Khasi Students' Union (KSU) Delhi unit on July 27. 

The girl hails from a border village in the Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya. 

According to the president of the KSU Delhi unit, Marbiang Khongwir, the girl (17) was rescued from her workplace on July 26 after hours of waiting for the house owners to respond to the request of letting the girl leave and return to her hometown. 

"I even got into an altercation with the owner of the house where she was working because they got her through an agency and that they had already paid the agency and said that they will only listen to the agency. They won’t even allow me to enter inside their premises. I had to wait outside for almost three hours until the husband came home and after talking to the police, he let me enter and had a dialogue with me," Khongwir told The Northeast Today-TNT on Tuesday. 

The KSU president also stated that according to the employment form that was produced by the house owner, the agency had lied about the girl's age, mentioning it to be 19 when her real age is 17. 

"After the girl was released, I took her to my place where she stayed the night before being sent back home," Khongwir said. 

The KSU president stated that they had to go through a lot of paperwork before they could successfully send the girl home since she is a minor. "We had to coordinate closely with the Meghalaya police and the Deputy Commissioner of Ri-Bhoi district for the same before getting the signature of the Resident Commissioner of Meghalaya House in New Delhi," she said. 

Since the girl had no residential certificate to prove she is a Meghalaya resident, the KSU members from the North Khasi Hills District (Ri Bhoi) unit had to procure the same from the Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi district, RM Kurbah. 

All the payment - from the flight ticket to lodging and food was borne by the KSU Delhi unit, said Khongwir. 

The girl landed in Guwahati airport on July 27 and was received by KSU members from Ri Bhoi district, who accompanied and took her home. 

The matter came to light when an SOS letter was sent by the girl’s mother to the Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi, with a copy to the police on July 19 reporting about the incident.

According to the letter, the mother expressed her fears and uneasiness over the situation stating that in 2019, because of financial constraints in the family, it was agreed to send the daughter (15 then) to Delhi under the supervision of her aunt who is now settled in Delhi.

However, whatever was discussed and promised between the girl’s immediate family and her aunt did not materialise even after two years. The girl was working as domestic help and has been complaining of being overworked and underpaid.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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