August 2nd, 2015
Image Source: KTJ
On 13th July around 30 bonded labourers from Irula tribal community were rescued by police and revenue district officers. Their employer used to pressurize them to collect earthworms in Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur district (Chennai).
The labourers included children as well, and the youngest of them was 7 years old. Police got to know about them after secretive information was passed by an NGO. Most of the labourers come from a village near the small town of Kalpakkam. They were forced to work in the areas of Ooranambedu in Minjur, Madugal kuppan in Gummidipoondi and Venadu in Andhra Pradesh.
According to a statement given by officials, the accused would give a loan of Rs. 10,000/- to each family and make them work for him for a period of 5 years, in order to repay the loan amount.
Police are looking for the man who exploited the labourers after promising daily wages. An FIR has been filed against him.
The man would sell the earthworms to local prawn hatcheries. In addition he also threatened them to not consider leaving as an option. The labourers were fearful of getting a false complaint filed against them.
It is a good move by the concerned authorities by saving the bonded labourers from the harassment they faced by their employer. Strict actions should be taken against the man, as this would create fear in minds’ of people who indulge in such condemnable activities.