Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Mar 23:
In a shocking case of gross apathy by the employer and the Odisha Government alike, a migrant worker from Malkangiri district breathed his last after being dumped by his employers under a tree while seriously ill and left unattended for more than 12 hours.
As per reports, the man – identified as Dambaru Madhi from Sindabeda village under Maithili police station of Malkangiri district had moved to Karimnagar in Telangana to work in a granite mine. Things turned worse after he fell sick there.
While his employer admitted him to Apex Hospital there, not willing to spend further they sent the patient back to his native in a critical condition.
“He was unconscious when he was admitted here in casualty. We took necessary preliminary care of the patient. We also made an estimate and informed the attendant about the expenses incurred and expected amount for further treatment. Only two hours after informing about the money, they took him away saying that they would take him home,” said Resident Superintendent of Apex Hospital Dr Bharat.
To make matters worse, the ambulance carrying Dambaru dropped him under a tree near Padmapur market – some 15 kilometres far from his village at 2 PM yesterday. With the intravenous fluid attachment still connected to his body and unable to walk, he kept lying there waiting for death until this morning.
Unfortunately, the Odisha Government or its ambulance services were not of any help either.
“An ambulance dropped him here yesterday at about 2 PM while the market was almost closed. Only a few people were here. He was alive but in a critical condition. We tried to arrange an ambulance in order to shift him to a hospital. We even spoke to people in Bhubaneswar, but nothing happened. He died under the tree helplessly early this morning. The local administration is equally responsible as his employer,” said a local Padu Hantala.
Odisha Government, on the other hand, ordered an enquiry and announced a small compensation.
“We have asked the District Labour Officer to conduct a detailed enquiry into the incident. Besides, the Labour Welfare Board would provide Rs 1 lakh compensation to the next of kin of Dambaru,” said Odisha Buildings and Construction Workers’ Welfare Board Chairman Subash Singh.
Notably, migrant labour issues are nothing new in Odisha. Every year thousands of contractual workers flee to various parts of the country in search of temporary jobs, and not only do they work in subhuman conditions there, but also get brutally tortured.