Amidst the mounting shortage of essentials and fuel in the country following the undeclared blockade by India on the Nepal-India border, the trend of using children in the smuggling of goods and petroleum products from across the border has gone rampant in Dhanusa district lately.
Local traders said that an organised group of smugglers ask children aged 10 to 15 to smuggle in such essentials from across the border, luring them with money. Displacement of Nepal Police beats authorised to conduct a check on the border, following insecurity, has added to the smuggling of such essentials and petroleum products.
It has been said that a child earns anything between Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 from the smuggling a day.
A local trader of Mahinathapur in India said that children smuggle essentials from Indian cities and later they collect them after reaching the Nepali territory before being supplied to different cities overnight.
A school teacher at Aurahi in Dhanusa said that schools in the Tarai remain closed due to the protest launched by the United Democratic Madhesi Front and children are being used in such illegal trade.
"Even small kids are being used in such illegal trade, lured into money," he said.