An industry callled dadan, bane of Bolangir

Bolangir: One man`s poor and desperate condition is just the right raw material required for another man`s industry to mint money. The western Odisha district is the brightest example of it. For years on end, the district that has gained infamy has been providing dadan workers,  better read slaves, to neighbouring states. This year is no different. And labour contractors from outside the state have started employing local dalas for haunting dadans in remote areas. Even educated unemployed youths and panchayat representatives are in the trade. But how does the network operates and what is the modus operandi? OTV news tried to crack the operation. It was revealed that it is a three-tiered operation.

A brick kiln owner from Hyderabad Venkateswar Rao was in search of cheap labour and the the drought conditions in Bolangir provided him the proper foil. With wads of money in  his bag, Venkateswar came to Kantabanjhi town and searched for some local connections,  instead read dalals. The money then changed hands and the dalas became active to collect the raw material-human beings to serve in the brick kiln-for Venkateswar. Venkateswar engaged not one but several dalas in several panchayats. His dalals included some panchayat level elected representatives and educated youths.

The dalals literally hunt for needy and poor persons including minor boys and girls and pay advances. The dalals have to bribe even the members of the village committee and local khaki personnel. After that part of the job is over, those willing to go are confided in a secret location for few days. Depending upon opportune moments, the dalals ferry their catches to the nearest railway station to be smuggled out to the destination. If they are caught by the labour department personnel, which is by sheer chance since the department personnel too are often hand in glove with the dalas, then it is labour contractors like Venkateswar who are the loosers. The dalals come out of prison within a few days only.

Drought has cast its spell thsi time too in the district. Conservative estimates said that already 20,000 dadan workers have already been carried out from villages under Bongomunda, Tureikela, Khaprakhol and Belpada blocks and many more thousands would be supplied. While the drought has rendered the workers jobless, the district administration is yet to start the MGNREGS works. So, the desperate and hungry persons need work and the labour contractors fill in the gap in that condition. Sailendra Narayan Dey, the district collector, however says that steps are afoot to start MGNREGS woks. But that can even rid the problem to a very small extent.