Bonded labourers from Athani and adjoining areas in the district, after failing to get justice from the authorities here, are now looking to Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj H.K. Patil for assistance.
Activists of Jeevika (Jeeta Vimukti Karnataka), an NGO, have been in the forefront of the agitation by the bonded labourers in Chikkodi subdivision, particularly the 97 labourers from P.K. Nagnur village of Athani taluk, for more than six months now.
‘Report not sent’
It said that though the National Human Rights Commission took cognisance of newspaper reports on the practice of bonded labour in the district and issued a notice to the Deputy Commissioner on April 5 with a direction to submit his findings on the issue within three weeks, no report had been sent so far.
Jeevika convener for Chikkodi subdivision, Shivaganga Chandrappa Gadadavar, and activist Basavaraj Hanchinmani said that of the 97 bonded labourers from P.K. Naganur, 21 escaped and took shelter in an anganwadi in Athani town with the help of the tahsildar.
No letter yet
But, despite assurances of ‘letter of freedom’, the district administration had not issued it till date.
They have urged Mr. Patil to direct the district administration to issue such a letter to all bonded labourersin the district .