273 bonded labourers from Odisha rescued in TN

Chennai: In a major operation, as many as 273 persons from Odisha employed as bonded labourers in a brick kiln in neighbouring Tiruvallur district were rescued on Tuesday.
 
The labourers, belonging to 98 families, were rescued this morning in the raids led by Revenue Divisional Officer R Abirami and conducted since last night in coordination with an NGO after a tip-off, officials said.
 
The victims were natives of Nuapada, Balangir, Nabarangpur and Bargarh districts of Odisha and had been brought to the brick kiln by an agent on the false promise that they would get a decent wage.
 
"But they were paid only Rs 300 a week, whereas the government has determined the minimum wage of Rs 136 per day," Mathew Joji of the NGO International Justice Mission told PTI.
 
The rescued workers are being sent to their native places by train tonight. Officials said further investigation was on to nab the owner of the kiln.
 
This is one of the major rescue operations in which such a large number of bonded labourers have been set free this year.
 
Bonded labour is a human rights violation and against the Bonded Labour Abolition Act (BLA), 1976.