Thursday, March 08, 2007

Upper caste Hindu's use Adivasi's from Orissa as Slaves

Slavery in various forms is flourishing in Large parts of Karnataka..

Upper caste Hindus use Advasi's who are generally regarded as sub-humans as slaves.

Government least bothered....

Activism by NGO's rescues slaves

Upper caste Hindu's use Adivasi's from Orissa as Slaves
Wednesday March 7 2007 13:40 IST

HOSAHODYA (KOLAR): Forty five bonded labourers, some of them just children, were rescued from a brick factory in Hosahodya village of Kolar district on Tuesday due to the concerted efforts of APSA, Child Helpline, SICHREM, Samatha Sainik Dal.

SICHREM executive Ashok Mathews Philip said that out of the 45 bonded labourers, there were nine child labourers and eight women. They will be with APSA and later sent to Orissa with APSA volunteers.

Kumar, a rescued labourer from Bharkudiya told the media that his employer Chennappa Gowda paid them Rs 40 for manufacturing 1000 bricks.

The sum is to be shared among three workers involved in the process. Many days they made a couple of thousand more bricks and earned that much extra. They would never get more than Rs 200 to Rs 250 in a week.

“Sardar (Kala Kanhu, an agent in Orissa) ferried us promising excellent payment. But we were cheated,” said Kumar, tears welling up his eyes.

Kumar said that they were provided with just two square meals a day. They were not allowed to move out of the factory premises. “We have not taken bath for four months because there is provision of clean water,” Kumar complained.

Bati Bariha said sometimes the workers got beaten up with iron rods. She said that her employer had taken away their ornaments too. Many labourers stammered out their sad story in their native tongue, which was translated by a local help.

The liberated workers said one Tanka Nag, who used to work with them, died a few days back. He fell sick but the factory owner had not bothered to send him to hospital.

“Seth did not even allow Tanka’s family members to offer the traditional last rites, and he was burried in a nearby field,” a labourer said. He said that Tanka’s family members were compelled to pay the employer to free themselves from his clutches.

Deputy Labour Commissioner Vasantkumar N Hittanagi said that the employer had violated many laws, including the Minimum Wages Act, Payment Wages Act, Inter-State Migrate Workers Act and Child Labour Prohibition Act.

Speaking to the reporters, executive director Lakshapathy of APSA said that the number of inter-state labour movement had increased. “They are promised Rs 12,000 a month, good food and proper shelter. But when they come here, they face an entirely different situation,” he said.

Shameem of Action Aid said that National Rural Employment Act was not being properly implemented. This is the main reason for such migration.

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