Chennai: District revenue officials of Tiruvallur with the help of an NGO rescued nearly 500 bonded labourers found working in poor conditions from a brick-kiln factory at Ponneri on Wednesday.
The incident came to light when the district collector of Tiruvallur alerted revenue officials about a factory on the outskirts of Ponneri after which a raid was conducted following which six supervisors were arrested under CRPC – 370 and the Bonded Labor Act, 1976.
“We along with members of International Justice Mission (IJM) and the local police raided the factory where we found laborers mostly children being made to work in shabby conditions and been verbally abused. We are completing all formalities to send all the workers to their hometowns in Orissa, Andhra and Chhattisgarh by train on Thursday,” said M. Narayanan, revenue divisional officer (RDO), Ponneri.
The brick-kiln facility was under operation for the past three months where the workers – mostly women and children were paid an advance of `12, 000 and a weekly wage of Rs 400 per family and made to work from 3 am till 8 pm with two hours break in between.
“There is a strong nexus working in Orissa and AP who work in tandem with factory owners in Tamil Nadu to recruit people from the hinterlands of Orissa during the end of December by which time these people are left with no jobs and had hit rock bottom poverty,” said Mathew Joji, spokesperson, IJM. The labourers were from Barghat, Bolanghir, Nabrangpur, Kalahandi and Naupada districts of Orissa....