Rashmi Ranjan

Despite the Odisha government’s tall claims of various welfare schemes, there seems to be no end to the plight of migrant workers in the State. With reports of rampant migration of workers to other states in search of work, the much-touted welfare schemes seem to be limited to pen and paper only.

A shocking instance of the plight of the migrant workers has come to light in Kalahandi district. Three labourers from Tingapatna village under Jayapatna block in the district, who had gone to Bengaluru in search of work, recently returned home by walking all the way from the southern state after allegedly being subjected to inhuman torture.

According to sources, the three labourers were forced to work without pay. Moreover, they were subjected to torture and even not provided with food.

Finding no other option, they decided to return to Odisha. Unable to bear their transportation expenses, the trio walked around 1100 km and covered the distance in eight days to reach their village, sources informed.

Seeing the suffering of the labourers, some Samaritans offered them some food and money on their way back to home.

According to the migrant labourers, they were forced to move to Bengaluru to work as daily labourers after they did not get any work under MGNREGA.

“I had gone to Bengaluru two months ago. But I was subjected to torture by the labour contractor there. With no other options, we walked all the way to Pottangi from Bengaluru. Now I will leave for my village with the help of some locals and journalists,” said one of the three labourers.

Another labourer said one Ram Krushna Pradhan had taken him to Bengaluru to engage him at a construction site.

(Reported by T Gouri Shankar, OTV)

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