Girl falls from 4th Floor, survives

28 August 2009

A 14-year-old girl fell from the fourth floor of a building at Sturrock Road on Wednesday night, prompting the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to direct the police to probe into the incident. The CWC suspects it to be a case of child labour or flouting of rules of Justice Juvenile Act.

The girl, Ayesha from Sirsi, dislocated her pelvic bone and suffered bruises after the fall.

The CWC who came to know of the incident visited the hospital where she was undergoing treatment. Geo D'Silva, a member of the committee, said the girl looks about 14 years. "JJ Act gives us the powers to medically examine her and assess the age of the victim," he told TOI.

Abdul Salam, at whose apartment the girl was staying, denied that she was working as a maid. "Her mother (Shaheen), who was working as a maid at my house in Kerala, brought Ayesha along with her when I shifted to the apartment here as she did not want her daughter to get chikungunya, rampant in her village," he said. Salam said the woman went back to Sirsi, but did not come back within two days as promised. Salam, claiming the girl was 17 years old, said he had locked his apartment, leaving the girl and his two children in the house, to visit his nephew admitted at a hospital here.

D'Silva said even if she was 17 years, the JJ Act says no person below 18 years can be employed without the CWC's notice. The CWC will look into the fact whether she was paid minimum wages. D'Silva said in case the girl is below 14 years, the labour department officials will be notified.

Ayesha, who is recuperating in a hospital, said she was 15 years old and she came to Salaam's house eight days ago. Recalling the incident, she said the inmates of the house had gone out, locking the house leaving her behind with the two children. "I was sitting on the balcony railing and suddenly I felt dizzy and fell down," she said. Ayesha also said that she was treated decently by the family. Salaam's neighbour, Shafeeq, said he heard a thud sound and saw the girl fall flat on the ground. They rushed her to the hospital immediately.

But CWC suspects that the maid may have tried to escape from the balcony as she was allegedly mistreated. The CWC has summoned her parents from Sirsi, and asked them to get her birth certificate.
source times of india


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