Nuapada bonded labourers held captive in Andhra Pradesh

Nuapada: At least three bonded labourers from Babepada village of Nuapada district have been allegedly held captive in Andhra Pradesh. The trio, identified as Mandhar Majhi, Abhiram Majhi and Rupdhar Majhi of the village had gone to Andhra Pradesh as bonded labourers after being hired by a middleman.

Sources said the middleman had paid an advance of Rs 10,000 to each labourer to work in a brick kiln in Andhra. However, the family members of the labourers alleged that the labourers are not being allowed to return home by the Andhra contractors even after working for over six months.

The matter came to fore after the labourers informed their family members about the contractors abusing and denying them leave and payment.

“The middleman had paid Rs 10,000 for two months of work. The contractor denied granting leave to my husband. I am living in difficult circumstances with my two children,” wife of a bonded labourer, Draupadi Majhi said.

Kamal Majhi, a resident of Babepada said “The labourers were thrashed when they asked for leave. They called up their family members and asked them to file case with the Nuapada labour office and local police. The labourers were supposed to come back after two months but it’s been over six months.”

Meanwhile, the family members today filed complaints with the local police and labour department requesting them to initiate steps for the release of the labourers.

Asha Manjula Tappo, Rural Inspector, Labour Department said, “We will inform our higher authorities about the three bonded labourers held captive in Andhra Pradesh. We are making efforts to release them from captive as soon as possible and bring them back to Odisha.”

Officials of the labour department also informed that necessary steps will be taken for the release of the labourers.