Four children, who were working as bonded labourers, were rescued from a ‘murukku’ factory near Ennore on Saturday.

Speaking to The Hindu, Kural Amudhan, assistant director of International Justice Mission, said the four children were aged between 14 and 18 years. “All of them are related and hail from Avaniapuram near Usilampatti. Two have single parents,” he said.

While three of them have been in bondage for nearly two years, one boy joined the group a month ago. “Their parents had illegally taken advances ranging between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 15,000 from the company owner. The children were paid Rs. 50 per week,” he said.

The children were forced to work for 12 to 14 hours a day. “They started work at 6 a.m. They had to make sure that the murukku did not get burnt. If it did, the owner abused them. Their work ended late at night,” said Mr. Kural Amudhan.

Some of the children were found to have burn marks. “They were not allowed to go home. If they did, the travel expense was added to the advance amount,” he said.

The International Justice Mission (IJM) and Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF) have reported the case to the Ambattur RDO.

“We have received the release certificates. The case will be forwarded to the police for further action,” Mr. Kural Amudhan added.

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