After two of them escaped, the owner threatened to kill their family members
Two Dalit families employed as bonded labourers in a brick kiln at Karadiyan Naickanur in Erode district were rescued on Tuesday.
On Monday, G. Kalaiselvan (31) of Nanjaimagathu Vazhkkai in Chidambaram taluk and K. Sivakumar (27) of Reddiar Mill area in Villupuram district escaped from the kiln and made a representation to Cuddalore Collector Rajendra Ratnoo stating that the owner was holding their wives and children hostage and had threatened to kill the women.
Mr. Ratnoo alerted his Erode counterpart V.K. Shanmugam, who deputed officials to rescue the women and children.
Those freed from the clutches of the kiln owner are Mr. Kalaiselvan’s wife K. Indhumathi (26) and their children K. Jeeva (8), K. Swathi (6) and K. Deva (4), and Mr. Sivakumar’s wife S. Sivagami (25) and their children S. Soundarya (3) and 10-month-old S. Surya.
Mr. Kalaiselvan in the petition stated that three Dalit families were employed at the kiln owned by B. Gurudevan. Two years ago they were engaged by Somu of Mayavaram to be employed in the kiln of Kittusamy. After serving there for a year they were shifted to the kiln of Rajendran. Later, Mr. Gurudevan paid Rs.85,000 to Rajendran to send the three families to work in his kiln.
They joined the new kiln on July 9. The very next day Mr. Gurudevan, his wife Vijayalakshmi and brother-in-law Venkat started abusing them and imposing unusual conditions on the families.
M. Nizamudeen of the Consumer Federation-Tamil Nadu, R. Babu of the Social Awareness Society for Youths, T. Arul Selvan of the SIPCOT Social Environment Monitor, who took up their cause, thanked the Collectors for their speedy action.
Keywords: bonded labour