A 13-year-old boy, who was serving as bonded labourer after his mother’s death was rescued from Perambalur district and admitted to the Government Children’s Home in Thanjavur.
According to sources, Manikandan, a native of Ayyampettai in Thanjavur, who was grazing cattle in Therani village in Kunnam Taluk of Perambalur district, informed the villagers that he was not given proper food and wanted to be freed. The villagers informed Perambalur Collector Darez Ahamed about the boy’s plight. He rescued the boy and sent him to Thanjavur district administration authorities.
Thanjavur Collector Dr N Subbaiyan instructed Natarajan, child protection officer, to enquire about the boy. Enquiries revealed that Manikandan’s mother Muniyammal was dead and his father Veerasamy, who married again, did not take care of him. He was entrusted to the care of his maternal uncle Kannan, who later left the boy with one Periyasamy of Ramanathapuram, who used to graze goats in the farming fields across the State. Kannan is said to have got `20,000 from Periyasamy for letting the boy graze the goats belonging to the latter. When the team of officials visited Therani village to rescue Manikandan, Periyasamy fled the scene. It is said Ilango (12), son of Kannan, who was working along with Manikandan also fled.
Natarajan said efforts were on to locate Kannan. A complaint was lodged with Padaalur police in Perambalur district against Periyasamy, who kept the boys as bonded labourers. Manikandan was admitted to the Government Children’s Home in Thanjavur after being produced before the Child Welfare Council. He will be admitted to a school in the district.
Subbaiyan said efforts would be made to pay a compensation of `20,000 to Manikandan under the Bonded Labour System (abolition) Act, 1976.