Reported by Ranjan Rath
Koraput, Mar 9:
Borigumma police have begun investigation into the incident in which a minor boy lost his palm in a sugarcane mill in Odisha’s Koraput district on Saturday.
Sources said Dambaru Jani, a 12-year-old Class V student of Pujariput village under Borigumma police station limits, was working as a daily wage labourer at a sugarcane mill near his village.
The minor boy had gone to the mill on Saturday with his mother for work. While working, his left palm came under the crusher. He was rushed to Borigumma hospital from where the family members shifted him to Nabarangpur district headquarters hospital.
Though the doctors had advised the family to shift the boy to Koraput district headquarters hospital, the latter took the boy to their village as they did not have enough money for his treatment.
After getting information about it, District Labour Officer (DLO)Tarinisen Khara went to the village this morning and made arrangements for the boy to be admitted to the Koraput district headquarters hospital.
“Action would be taken against the mill owner”, the DLO told OST today.
Meanwhile, Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi said arrangements are being made by the district administration to provide treatment of the boy. “I have asked the DLO today to make an on-the-spot investigation. Basing on the report, action would be taken against the mill owner under Child Labour Act.”
Alleging that the state government is not serious about the implementation of laws to curb child labour, child rights activist Ranjan Mohanty said there is a provision for a task force at the district level to rescue child labourers. Besides, there is a child welfare committee of the Women and Child Development department in each district. Apart from this, there should be a child protection committee in each panchayat.
“Efforts should be made to educate the parents not to send their children for work in places where such instances have occurred frequently. The committees and the task force units formed by the state government should visit such places at regular intervals,” he added.
Expressing grave concern over the incident, Jeypore Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said neither the DLOs and nor any concerned government officials in the district had taken any step to curb such unfortunate incidents. The state government had not given any specific instructions to the district collectors, he alleged.
“We will raise the demand for drastic action against the erring officials in the Assembly,” he informed.
This is the fifth incident of its kind in the undivided Koraput district in the last few months.