Child labourers, aged between 13 and 17, were made to fill and pack liquor bottles and worked long hours at a Som Group distillery, Reuters reported citing police investigation. The use of child labour at the distillery in Madhya Pradesh is being inspected after National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said last month it had found 58 children working illegally at the factory, the report claimed. 

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said last month it had found 58 children working illegally at the factory.(Representational)

The commission also released photos of some with hands showing chemical burns and said some children were transported in school buses for factory work, the report claimed. Following this, an inspection report was drafted by the state’s industrial health and safety department based on interviews with 27 workers.

The report noted children were working 11-hour shifts starting at 8 am but the company said as per Reuters that “some children would visit the company to deliver food and medicines to their parents, and no worker was younger than 21”. 

The state government said that children working in the distillery were not given training on how they could protect themselves from harmful chemicals.

“Since it is hazardous work, there should have been a health centre at the factory,” the report said as per Reuters. 

Last month, Som Distilleries and Breweries said in a statement to the stock exchange that the Madhya Pradesh plant was run by its “associate private limited company” and used labour supplied by contractors who may not have carried out proper age checks.