MAC: Mines and Communities

Bonded Labourers Rescued From Brick Kiln

Published by MAC on 2006-01-10
Source: Times of India

Bonded labourers rescued from brick kiln

by Times of India

10th January 2006

RANCHI: Forty-four bonded labourers, including 28 children, who had been toiling away at a Ranchi brick kiln in return for nothing but food, have been rescued by police.

They were found on Monday night at the Isha brick kiln on the outskirts of Ranchi. Most of them hailed from Bilashpur district in Chhattisgarh. Of the 44 rescued, 28 are children. Most of the children are aged below 14.

Police have registered a complaint against Ram Kishore Mahto, the owner of the factory, who has gone under underground after police raided the kiln. Police took action after Videshi, a bonded labourer who was working in the factory, managed to escape and informed police about the plight of the others.
The labourers were brought here in October last year and since then had been confined to the brick kiln.

"We were lured with handsome payments in return for work in the factory. But we were only given food. Whenever we asked for money we were beaten black and blue. We were confined inside the factory and not allowed to go outside," said Bachchan Kumar, one of the rescued labourers.

"We will arrange for the safe return of the rescued labourers to their home state Chhattisgarh," said Deepankar Panda, sub-divisional magistrate.

The incident is not an isolated case. In Jharkhand, thousands of people work as bonded labourers, mostly in brick kilns and stone-crushing units.

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