Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur, June 12:
A few months after reports of torture of labourers from Khallikote block in Odisha’s Ganjam district at their workplace overseas, there are fresh reports of labourers from Patrapur block in the same district being subjected to physical and mental exploitation in Malaysia.
The villagers of Bhegipadar, Jayantpur, Kesripada and Patrapur villages in Patrapur block have sought the intervention of the district collector to get 32 youth hailing from different villages in their block rescued from Malayasia. These youth working in Malaysia as labourers are allegedly being subjected to inhuman physical and mental torture by their employers.
Out of the 32 youths who have gone to Malaysia from Patrapur block, one Bharat Reddy died there a month ago while another three have managed to escape.
A delegation of villagers from the block met the district collector today and requested him to rescue the remaining 28 youth from Malaysia. The collector assured the villagers that steps will be taken for their rescue.
“We will write to the Labour Commissioner and the Principal Resident Commissioner in New Delhi. Two-three months back, a similar incident had taken place and all those labourers were rescued and brought back. In this case also, we will adopt the same procedure and take action,” said Ganjam collector Prem Chandra Choudhury.
Villagers said one B Dasarathi of Kesripada had acted as the middleman in the hiring of these youth for jobs overseas. Family members alleged that broker Dasarathi had taken fat sums of money from these youth to fetch them overseas jobs with lucrative remunerations.
“My brother died six days after he left. Nobody took responsibility, not even the agent. Many people are still there. The company doesn’t take any responsibility. They are working in hotels,” said B Tulsi Reddy, a relative of one Bharat Reddy, who died in Malayasia after being subjected to torture at the hands of his employers.
“My son has gone to Malaysia. He is not getting his wages. They are in dire straits. They are not getting sufficient food to eat. We are living in misery. He went there by paying Rs 70,000 to the agent. We have taken loans for arranging the amount,” said Shymala Sahu, mother of a youth who has gone to Malaysia as a labourer.
“They are subjecting them to 16-18 hours of work and beating them up if they refuse to work such long hours. We have come to request to the collector to intervene and rescue them as well as arrest the agent,” said B Nageswar Rao, a villager who was a member of the delegation that had come to meet the collector.