Bhubaneswar: Six bonded labourers (including 5 children) from Odisha were rescued from 2 water treatment plants in Chennai on Friday, 21st June 2019. The Chennai state administration conducted the rescue following a tip off from the International Justice Mission and the Bachpan Bachao Andolan as part of the latters India Action Campaign against Child labour.
The six workers – five between the ages of 12 and 16 were brought to Tamil Nadu on the promise of safe accommodation, good pay and three square meals. The parents had been paid an advance amount between Rs 5000 -15,000. It has been found that the children were subjected to inhumane long hours of work and were not provided with any protective gear, due to which they have developed skin conditions. The rescue team also found the premises to be extremely unhygienic.
After a detailed inquiry, the RDO of Chennai Central, Ms. Bharathi Devi issued Release Certificates to all the 6 labourers. Both the water treatment plants were sealed by the Tahsildar of Aminjikarai on the same night. The RDO also informed the lead bank manager to open the bank accounts for all of them on Monday for the initial rehab amount to be transferred. An FIR was filed against the perpetrators- Chandrasekar(Owner) , Viki and Abi (Agents) under sections 16,17,18,20 of BLSA Act , Sec 370 of IPC and Sec 14 (1) of Child and adolescent labour Act. The boys are currently being housed at a Shelter home.