Most of them were conned into coming to Bangalore

Officials of the Revenue Department and the Tahsildar’s Office (Bangalore South) raided a private brick factory in Channenahalli near Tavarekere on Bangalore’s outskirts and rescued 14 bonded labourers on Thursday.

Amongst the rescued were five women and six children, who were freed from the CGR factory owned by two brothers — C.R. Lokesh and C.R. Mahesh — a rescue team member said. The labourers, mostly from Orissa and Chhattisgarh, were taken to the Tahsildar’s Office.

Ramala Sahani from Orissa said she had come to the city four months ago, a mere 20 days after giving birth to her third child, who was asleep nearby. “It was tough but the prospect of good money drew me to the city. We were offered Rs. 2,000 a week but given only Rs. 500 once we started work.”

Tahsildar (Bangalore South) Shivappa H. Lamani said four labourers voluntarily decided to stay back to work at the factory. “We cannot force them to leave,” he said. Rescue team member Prasanna said the labourers said a woman named Subhashini Patel had lured them to Bangalore.

“We were labourers in Orissa and were part of a self-support group when Subhashini approached us and offered good money. We came here and ended up working from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. surviving on two meals a day. Some of us also worked through the night,” said Bargarh Prashanta Hati, another labourer. “I am happy we have been able to come out of the factory.”Tahsildar Lamani said he would take action against the owners.