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  1. #1
    Kal Ho Na Ho
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    Aug 2008


    Default I don’t have a maid below 14: Suchitra

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    Suchitra Krishnamoorthi is shocked at being accused of employing a minor as a maid. She says, “I was having lunch with a girlfriend when I got a

    few calls from journos and friends telling me I am on TV-breaking news.

    Suchitra Krishnamoorthi accused of employing a girl below 14-abusing child labour laws!’ To say I am shocked and hurt is putting it mildly - I am devastated.”

    The actress, painter and mother of a nine-year-old adds, “The Labour Minister has named me on TV - the television is full of images of me alongside of a nine-year-old bruised and abused little girl that was rescued a few days ago from the home of a television actress Urvashi. There is nothing more painful than that visual to me, the mother of a nine-year-old myself.”

    Suchitra, the former wife of filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, writes on her blog, “Whatever the labour department has said about today me - It is a LIE. I have employed no one below the age of 14 and certainly no one by the name of Nayantri, not currently and NEVER in the past.”

    She adds, “I currently employ two girls aged 18. I have registered with two maid agencies in the city who provide me maids with verification and identity.”

    Denying that the labour department, police or NGO had been contact with her over the issue, she says sternly, “I demand and challenge them to come up with the proof of the heinous accusations they are hurling at me. My home and my phone line are open to them. As a law abiding citizen I have every right to ask them to furnish me with the evidence they have supposedly gathered against me. Who is this girl? What are they talking about?”

    Suchitra states, “So whoever else the labour department is talking about is a figment of their imagination. I am a law abiding citizen and have spent the last few years working towards the betterment of women and children’s lives. Not only with my money but with my valuable time energy and love.”

    She says, “When I first saw the news break out I thought it may be about a maid called Rajmoti I had employed over a month ago. She was 16 or 17 and sent to me by her sister Sunita who has been working in my dear friend Tanaya’s home for four years. They told me Rajmoti needed a home. She was fresh from her village that didn’t even have electricity and were keen for her to love and stay in the city for a while.”

    “So wondering if the labour laws had changed from 14 to 18, and if this was what the ruckus was about, I called up her sister Sunita and asked if they had perhaps been contacted by an NGO or lodged a complaint. They were shocked and assured me that I had done them a favour by taking the girl in and there was no way they would have lodged a complaint and nor had any NGO or labour department contacted them. So it’s definitely not Rajmoti. As for this other girl Nayantari, that the labour department is accusing me of employing and abusing, I am not even aware of her existence.”

    She is willing to give the benefit of doubt to the authorities concerned, “I don’t know who is behind this and why my name is being dragged into it. Maybe it’s a misunderstanding and the name has been misunderstood. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and will pause a bit before I decide what further I need to do.”

    Suchitra concludes, “I am not going to let a lie and a fabricated accusation strip me of everything I stand for, have worked towards and believe in. I have faith that the truth with prevail.”



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