Raja can’t read or write, and he doesn’t know his age.
But he knows he’s expected to work 16 hours a day, and that he’s never been paid.
Every day, he toils in the dark corner of a New Delhi apartment just a few grimy paces from where he sleeps.
Trained as a human rights lawyer, the 26-year-old is now employed full-time at Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), the grassroots “Save the Childhood” movement started by Kailash Satyarthi, the children’s rights activist who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai”.
BBA pioneered the use of raids to rescue boys and girls from employers who put them to work making bricks, polishing nickel or stitching bags from morning to night for a fraction of the wage paid an adult — if they’re paid at all. The raids target factories, mines, even homes, where girls are often ensnared in domestic servitude. Under existing Indian laws, children under 14 are allowed to work.”