ROURKELA: Seema Purty, Chandi Bara and Nilima Soi, all tribal girls from Sundargarh district, had looked forward to a decent life after completing a government-sponsored rural skill development programme. But their dreams came crashing down as they were engaged as domestic help in Hyderabad households instead of the promised jobs of patient care attendants.
Unable to bear the humiliation, the girls returned from Hyderabd a few days back. Seema and Chandi, both belonging to Kuanrmunda block, blamed the outsourcing agency Multicare Services of exploiting and engaging them as domestic help. They claimed that several other girls have been virtually kept captive at Hyderabad.
After completing two months of residential training, the girls said, they were impressed upon by the Multicare Services that they would be working as patient attendants at hospitals but three weeks ago, they were engaged at households to attend to elderly persons and do menial domestic works.
Chandi said they were not allowed to call their families and faced hostile work condition. They were also not given adequate food, she alleged saying she felt like being in captivity and she was allowed to talk to her parents a few days ago only after she threatened her employer of taking drastic step.
On being informed, parents of Chandi and Seema accompanied by Sunil Dungdung, Gram Rozgar Sevak (GRS) of Jalangbira village, went to Hyderabad and brought them back. The two girls also claimed that their employers had demanded `25,000 from each of them as security deposits.
Dungdung said when they contacted officials of Multicare Services at Bhubaneswar, the latter refused to take any responsibility and did not cooperate.
Meanwhile, six other girls including Ujlanti Samad of the district were on Saturday rescued by their parents from Hyderabad. After registering police complaint there, they are heading back homes.
Ujlanti narrated the same ordeal over phone and said she was forced to do menial domestic works and her employer demanded her parents to pay `25,000 to secure her release, but they strongly resisted.
The skill development programme is operational under Din Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Rozgar Yojana (DDU-GRY) and is implemented by the Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM) with the Odisha Rural Development And Marketing Society (ORMAS) as the nodal agency.
ORMAS’ Chief Executive for Sundargarh Souravmaya Das said 1,511 literate and semi-literate unemployed youths of the district have been covered under various skill development training programmes including patient attendant and hospitality disciplines from April 2015 to January 2016.
In Odisha, 60 Project Implementation Agencies (PIAs) including Multicare Services with its training centre at Bhubaneswar have been entrusted for training and placement, Das said adding that 628 rural youths of Sundargarh have been placed so far.
The candidates get two months’ residential training and one month on-job training before getting placements.
Stating that they have not received any complaint from any trained person, Das said they would inform the ORMAS head office for appropriate action after receiving written complaints. He claimed that adequate measures are taken to track the candidates post-placement.
State head of the Multicare Service, Khirod Maharana, however, dismissed the allegations that the tribal girls were engaged as domestic help in Hyderabad.
After three months’ training, the girls were engaged in households as home nurses to take care patients, he said and added that besides food and accommodation, they were given salary of `8000 per month.
Before their engagements, the girls were also given proper counselling, he said and added that homesickness may have been the reason for which the girls left their jobs.