RAYAGADA: As many as 300 labourers and their families were rescued on Friday night from Rayagada railway station while they were on their way to Berhampur.
Acting on a tip off, Rayagada ADM Laxmikant Behera, Assistant Labour Commissioner Kumuda Das, DLO Narendra Raika and the Railway Police rescued them from Ahmedabad-Puri Superfast, which reached Rayagada station last night. The labourers boarded the train at Kantabanji and were going to Berhampur, said DLO Raika. The labourers were reportedly accompanied by three persons, who managed to escape.
Later, the labourers, hailing from Kantabanji and Mudibahal in Balangir district, were sent back to their respective villages.
Thousands of migrant labourers, particularly from KBK region, migrate to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala every year to work in brick kilns and other occupations. Most of them migrate with their families due to lack of livelihood options. This is further compounded by the exploitative attitude of money-lenders who charge high rate of interest.
This year, due to deficient rainfall and crop loss, thousands of labourers have already started to migrate from this region. The never-ending cycle of debt forces the labourers to take money in advance from the labour agents, who, in connivance with the brick kiln owners, take labourers to several parts of South India.
Several cases of torture, sexual harassment and murder of migrant labourers have been reported in the last three years.
ADM Behera said labour contractors and middlemen are sending the labourers illegally without proper registration.
In order to check such trafficking, the district administration has initiated various measures, he added.