In yet another case of torture and exploitation of migrant labourers abroad, two youths of Ganjam district have sought the intervention of district administration for their rescue from the clutches of their employers.
Five months back, Sanjay Barik and Rabi Barik of Kaithada village under Khalikote police limits had left their homes to work as masons in Aljaharin company at Damum in Saudi Arabia. On Tuesday last, Rabi called up his family to narrate his miseries.
He said seven persons of Ganjam, Khurdha and Kendrapara were sent to work as mason in Aljaharin by a Bhubaneswar based private agency, with a promise of monthly salary of more than Rs 15,000.
For more than two months, the seven youths including Rabi and Sanjay were engaged as mason and also paid their salary.
However, for last three months they have been working as labourers and not paid any money. “We are given stale food and have to eat it unable to tolerate hunger,” said Rabi.
Apart from the seven youths from Odisha, there are around eight youths of Mumbai who are also facing similar situation, he said. “We are engaged in shifting the materials from 8 am to 8 pm with a half-an-hour break for lunch. When we asked for our salary and permission to go home, the company officials asked us to pay Rs 75,000 to return our identity cards and visa which they had taken away at the time of joining.”
All the youths are working under strict vigil of the henchmen of the company and after completion of the day’s work they are confined to a small dark room. “Last week, we tried to convince the company officials to let us go. As a punishment, our dinner was cancelled for next five days,” said Rabi.
He urged his family to make arrangements for their return. After receiving the phone call, family members of Rabi and Sanjay appealed to the district administration and labour officials to intervene for their release.
Basing on the direction of the administration, Assistant Labour Commissioner Nilambar Misal is inquiring into the matter. “Details about the youths have already been collected and the Immigration Department has been asked to initiate necessary measures to rescue the Odia youths.