19 workers rescued from kiln return to Orissa

Bhubaneswar, June 29 (Calcutta Tube) At least 19 migrant workers, including six children, returned to their homes in Orissa Tuesday after being rescued from a brick kiln in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh where they were kept in captivity, an NGO official said.

The rescued workers are natives of Orissa’s Bolangir district, some 372 km from here. They were under forced captivity in Kandukur village in Rangareddy district of Andhra Pradesh, said Umi Daniel, south Asia head (migration) of international NGO Aide et Action.

‘Activists of our organisation came to know about them and visited the brick kiln and rescued all the labourers June 27,’ he said.

The kiln owner was harassing them both physically and mentally and forcing them to work for about 16 hours every day, he said.

‘Nilakantha Bhattaguria, a 55-year-old labourer, was beaten up by the kiln owner’s goons. His legs were broken. Two women were kept in lock up for two days and were physically harassed,’ he said.

‘All the rescued people arrived at their homes Tuesday,’ he said.

Bolangir district is part of the poverty belt of western Orissa infamous for starvation deaths and sale of children by poor parents. Every year thousands of people from the district migrate to other states in search of a living.

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