Deepak Kumar was on his way back from a playground near the Tughlaqabad railway station in Delhi when he was abducted. It was the evening of March 8, 2011. He was 15 then.
“It was already dark. I was feeling cold and realized I should go back home. Just then I saw four people coming towards my direction on a bike. Before I could understand anything, they forced me on the pillion, sandwiching me between them. They covered my mouth with a thick cloth when I started crying. All I can remember is that I was on the bike. When I woke up, it was morning. The men took me to a Ram Kumar’s house in Khindaria village, Muzaffarnagar district,” Deepak recounted.
Khindaria village lies north-east of Muzaffarnagar district in the sugar belt region of Uttar Pradesh. The region is covered with sugarcane plantations that flourish all year round.
The next morning, Deepak was briefed about his job at Ram Kumar’s place. He was to look after the buffaloes, clean their sheds, and peel and clean sugarcane. Meanwhile, back home in Badarpur, his parents had frantically started looking for him. His father Bhajan Sahu went to the nearest police station in Sarga Khwaja to register the missing person. “They refused to file a case, saying that my son was a drug addict. Finally, after a lot of requests a case was registered but they did nothing,” says Sahu.
via Delhi’s missing children forced into farm labor | Globalization | DW.DE | 20.09.2013.