CHENNAI : Three families, forced into bonded labour, were rescued from a powerloom in Devankurichi village in Tiruchengode in Namakkal district on Monday by the Tiruchengode Revenue Divisional Officer, Baskaran, based on a tip off. A total of nine individuals - three men, three women and three children - all of whom hail from Erode, were working under pathetic conditions for wages of Rs 500 a week, said social workers who helped in the rescue operations.
“The three families have been shifted from place to place within the same locality for the last 10 years, by an arrangement between owners of many workshops,” said T Jaba, a social worker who works with the International Justice Mission (IJM), an NGO working with the government to rehabilitate bonded labourers.At the site of rescue, in Palanisamy powerloom, one family was found bonded for four years and the other two, for a year each.
An FIR was filed on Monday evening and it will be used to get the Rs 20,000 as initial rehabilitation amount that they are entitled to, under the new Central scheme. “After an initial enquiry, the amount will be released by the Labour department,” said Jaba. While the cases of such bonded labour are many, very few complaints are being registered, he added.