The warden of an orphanage with the slogan "Caring for AIDS Orphans" has been arrested after forcing them to clear out filthy drains.
A shocking video shows some of the orphan girls being forced to clear a drain with scant hygienic protection.
The clip shows a girl of about ten up to her shoulders in a manhole, bending down to scoop out the filthy brown water in a bowl and tipping it out on to the ground.
She is wearing a dress and has only a face mask to protect her from the numerous diseases known to teem in drain water, and has bare hands.
Four similar-aged girls are seen nearby, thought to be helping with the chore at an orphanage in the neighbourhood of Uppal Kalan, in the city of Hyderabad in central India’s Telangana State.
They are also wearing dresses and one stands on the filthy ground in just flip flops.
The orphanage run by non-governmental organisation AGAPE has as its slogan: "Caring for AIDS Orphans".
Many of the children at the orphanage for children aged eight to 14 are HIV-positive.
Police became involved after the clip went viral online and the warden of the orphanage, named only as Prajavathi, has been detained by officers.
Police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwath said: "A case has been lodged under Section 14 of the Child Labour Act, 1986, and Section 73 of JJ Act at Uppal police station against the warden.
"She was taken into custody. She often used children for daily chores and the cleaning of drains."
Other unspecified orphanage staff were also held by police.
It was NGO funding organisation Balala Hakkula Sangham that tipped off police. Member Achuta Rao said: "When we entered the premises, we found children were cleaning the premises with broomsticks."
One of the girls told Indian media: "We are regularly made to do domestic chores by the home authorities. We clean the drain occasionally."
A police investigation is ongoing.