Karnataka: Kept As Bonded Labourers, Woman Gives Birth To Two Kids Without Any Help
A family of nine forced into bonded labour at a farm in Marlawadi village in Kanakapura, Karnataka was rescued on June 26.
The couple and their seven children, belonging to the vulnerable Irula tribal community, were trafficked from Denkanaikottai in Tamil Nadu nearly four years ago to work in a farm for more than 12 hours a day.
‘Not given food, medicine, help, leaves’
The family was brought to the farm four years ago. The family comprises six children aged between 4 and 17 and their parents. Two of the children were born on the farm without any medical help.
They were promised that they would be paid Rs 65,000. But after getting to the farm they were not paid more than Rs 20,000. Thereafter, they were paid Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000 a month for their sustenance. The children work in the field from 10 am to 6 pm every day and took care of 20 goats and 15 cows, grazing, feeding and milking them. Their parents worked from 4 am in the morning to 7 pm.
Two years ago, the woman had to give birth but the farm owner refused to let them go to the hospital. Eight months ago, while giving birth again, she was refused medical help and even basic medicine. Her husband along with 17-year-old daughter helped her deliver the child in the unhygienic condition of the farm, reported The Hindu.
“We don’t know how we did it. Both deliveries were late in the night, and the owner of the farm did not even give us medicines, let alone call for a vehicle or admit her in a hospital,” the 40-year-old father told The Hindu a day after being rescued.
They were not allowed to take leaves. In the last four years, they did not go back to their village, either for any wedding occasion or funeral. His mother died last year and he was not allowed to leave in the beginning. After a heavy scuffle, he was allowed to go but not given any money. He had to walk to his village and by the time he reached, his mother was buried.
“My children had no access to education, medical facilities or vaccinations. We were so helpless. I had to help my wife deliver our last two children on the farm. We had no holidays and we weren’t fed properly either. I’m happy we’re out of this ordeal,” said Madappa, the survivor as reported by Deccan Herald.
A team of the district administration, labour department and the Harohalli police rescued them.
An FIR has been registered against the farm owner at the Harohalli police station under section 370 (trafficking of persons) of the IPC, sections 16, 17, 18 of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, and sections of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016. The police are on the lookout for him.
The Logical Indian community demands strict action against the farm owner who held these people captive. The Irulas live in poverty and face a lot of discrimination. Last year, 15 persons from the community were rescued from a goshala in Mahadevapura. We hope authorities take action and rehabilitate these people in the society.