Meghalaya: Minor girl, sent to Delhi to work as domestic help, rescued by officials 

The matter came to light when an SOS letter was sent by the girl’s mother to the Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi.

A minor girl, hailing from a border village in Meghalaya’s Ri Bhoi district, who was allegedly sent to Delhi with hopes of landing a proper job way back in 2019, was rescued by government officials and will be brought back to the state on July 27.

The girl (17) was rescued by officials from Meghalaya House in New Delhi in close coordination with the district administration and Ri Bhoi police and will be brought back home by flight on Tuesday.

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 a domestic help and has been complaining of being overworked and underpaid.

Belonging to a poor family, the mother had sought the help of some elders from the village, who then reached out to traditional leaders from nearby villages for help.

They reached out to the assistant secretary of Mawlyndep village, Pynshnganlang Thangkhiew, who later took up the matter with a Shillong resident, Damon Lyndem.

“I was in the village for some function on July 17 when I heard the story of the girl from one of the village elders. I managed to speak to the girl over the phone to learn more about her situation and felt that action should be taken. I then contacted Bah Daman, who later took it up with the district authorities with permission from the girl’s mother,” Thangkhiew told The Northeast Today (TNT) on Monday.

Within days of the matter being reported, the district administration and officials at Meghalaya House, New Delhi, took swift action and rescued the girl from the house she has working.

“This is not a one-off incident. People, especially in the rural areas, are often taken advantage of because of their financial situation with promises of proper jobs in big cities, but such is not the case. Parents should be vigilant while sending their children to cities on the pretext of finding a job,” Lyndem said, while thanking the government authorities for acting swiftly.

Meanwhile, attempts were made to contact the Deputy commissioner of Ri Bhoi, but to no avail.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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