Smugglers using kids as ‘carriers’ on Indo-Nepal border

      Smugglers active along the porous Indo-Nepal border are now using children, as ''carriers'' to smuggle goods like sugar and tobacco. Hundreds of children, in the age group of six to years, are being hired by the mafia of smugglers to carry out this illegal trade along the Sunauli check point of Uttar Pradesh. Reportedly, the reliance on children has been so successful in smuggling that the influence of such a modus operandi is even witnessed in West Bengal. The chosen children are paid around rupees 200 per day for running the errands. "I travel at least 10 times in a day. I carry five kilograms of sugar in one visit and I get 200 rupees. I also study. I live in Jogiabadi," said Akhil. Shree Chand Gupta, President, Indo-Nepal Friendship Organisation contended that it is the poverty stricken parents who are persuading their children. He added that this trends can turn out to be heinous in the long run if not checked at the right time. "Today they are carrying sugar but tomorrow they can also smuggle arms and ammunitions on the other side and can work as traitors. Hence officers of both the countries should take a note of this crime as it can also cause a serious threat to the society," said Gupta. Physically challenged persons and aged women are also becoming soft targets for smugglers, as they don''t have any regular source of income. Awareness campaigns in the border villages and schools can put a stop to the malpractice. “Above all, the customs and the security personnel manning the transit points along the India-Nepal border need to pull up their socks,” Gupta points out.

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