CHENNAI: Kancheepuram district revenue officials and police rescued 12 bonded labourers including 2 children on Tuesday night and registered a case. According to V. Durai, president, Irula Tribal Welfare Society (ITWS), the rescued labourers belong to 4 Irula families.
“The four families worked for Shanmugam as woodcutters. Shanmugam gave the families some money in advance and was forcing them to hard labour at meagre salaries for the last three years,” Durai said.
Two of the four families are natives of Thiruvanaikovil of Kancheepuram district. One belongs to Kaviyathandalam and another family belongs to Mamandur. Shanmugam had been allegedly giving Rs 500 per week per family.
Following information about bonded labourers, Tambaram RDO Chandrasekar rescued them near Pazhanthandalam and handed them over to Kancheepuram RDO Raju on Tuesday night. “Revenue officials have registered a complaint with Kundrathur police and an FIR has been filed,” Durai added.
Durai also said that the affected informed the ITWS about their ordeal and sought action during an event organised by the NGO. “Our team monitored the families for nearly a month to ascertain whether they were truly aggrieved. On confirmation, we informed the RDO,” he said. All four families have been given release certificates and proper rehabilitation would be provided, said the district officials.
According to Durai, the number of bonded labour incidents recorded in the woodcutting ‘industry’ is next only to the brick kiln industry. “However, the number of bonded labourers in woodcutting is higher than in the brick kiln industry,” he said....