A severely malnourished and physically tortured nine-year-old minor girl was rescued from the Lucknow residence of Lal Pradip Sahdeva, a lawyer, who practices in a Jharkhand court.
The girl was brought by the advocate to Lucknow after he helped the girl's father to get an acquittal in a criminal case the man was facing in Jharkhand. He promised to pay a monthly wage of Rs 1,000 to the girl. But the work assigned to the child included cleaning of a three-story house, washing utensils, clothes and looking after a 8-month old child of the advocate's daughter.
Responding to a complaint from the All India Democratic Women's Association, a rescue operation was planned by the well-known child activist organisation, the Saaksham Foundation in collaboration with the Lucknow police and Childline, a leading child rights body.
On reaching the house of the advocate the child was recovered and she mentioned to the volunteers that she was made to forcibly work for nearly 18 hours a day. The victim also described the extreme brutality she was being subjected to by Sahdeva, his wife Amrita, his son-in-law Sushant Singh and daughter Pritika Sahdeva.
“The child was tied up with ropes and blows were rained on her,” said a neighbor. She was also often allegedly starved and had to cook her own food once she managed to finish her work.
“The child was constantly abused and emotionally harassed by Pritika who used to threaten her that she would parade her naked in the colony if she refused to do all the work she was brought to the house to do,” disclosed Saksham Foundation convenor Anjali Singh, who led the rescue operation.
Post- rescue, the child was taken for a medical treatment and presented before the Child Welfare Committee in Lucknow, after which she was sent to the children's home at Prag Narain Home in Lucknow.
This is the third case of a young minor girl being rescued from homes of well-to-do people in Lucknow’s posh Gomtinagar, where they are being forcibly kept and used as domestic help.
Just a week ago a 12-year-old girl was found hanging in a home of an engineer of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation; there too the child was being brutally beaten by the engineer, his wife and son. The accused were arrested and sent to jail.