LUCKNOW - Officials in one of India’s most populous states were left red-faced on Monday after a video emerged showing children cleaning up a medical college in preparation for a top politician’s visit.

The video, broadcast on the NDTV network, showed children as young as 10 cleaning and sweeping the college grounds in Uttar Pradesh state beore the arrival of its chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

The footage comes just weeks after India’s child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize, which shone an international spotlight on India’s high levels of child labour.

One of the children told the NDTV they were being paid “200 rupees” ($3.20) ahead of Yadav’s arrival at the college in Kannauj city on Sunday to address a seminar.

A spokesman for the Uttar Pradesh government told AFP the incident would be thoroughly investigated. “Though it is not in my knowledge, it indeed is a deplorable thing. The matter will be probed and the guilty shall be punished for sure,” Rajendra Chaudhary said.

The head of the college said action was already underway following the incident, adding that cleaning was conducted by a separate body which had probably outsourced Sunday’s job to a private vendor. “I would like to clarify that the college administration has nothing to do with this,” said college dean V.N. Tripathi.

Uttar Pradesh, with a population of 204 million, has one of the country’s highest levels of child labour, according to NGOs and official statistics.

Satyarthi, 60, was this month jointly awarded the Nobel prize with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage education campaigner shot by the Taliban in 2012.

The Indian activist, who argues that poverty should not be an excuse for child labour, was recognised for doggedly championing children’s rights in his home country and worldwide for decades.

India’s mega cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are a particular target for criminal gangs whom police say traffic children in much the same way they sell drugs.

Most of these children end up as construction or domestic workers. Others take up rag-picking, agricultural work or industries such as fireworks, tobacco and carpet weaving.