Balangir migrant labourer dies after falling
FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA |
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Even as the Government is making tall claims of
providing job work to people at
their doorsteps and improving the livelihoods of
the rural poor and checking
distress migration, yet reports of rural
poverty-stricken people are migrating in
search of jobs livelihoods to neighbouring
States, only to lose their lives and
face various ordeals.
According to reports, Gautam Bhoi (26) of
Bijamaal village of Muribahal block in
Balangir district was going to Andhra Pradesh
accompanied by his wife Sangita (24)
to seek jobs in the brick kiln industry.
Gautam set out on migration on November 21 along
with some residents of his in-
laws’ village Mundpadar in Bongomunda block.
While going to Andhra Pradesh, on the
way he fell down from the train on November 22.
His wife jumped from the train in
an attempt to save him.
“We have got information that while Gautam has
died, his injured wife has been
admitted to a hospital at Rayagada,” said
Bhajaram Raam Sahu of the Jana Mukti
He said this year; the police administration has
taken a drive to check illegal
migration by arresting 22 brick kiln owners from
Andhra Pradesh at Kantabanji a
few days ago. But people are migrating
clandestinely. When asked, they would say
they have gone for Ita Gadhi (brick construction)
in Andhra Pradesh.
Even today, Basant Deep, a young migrant from
Balikhamar village has been missing
since last three years.
The absence of records of migrants and their
unsafe way of migration are really
creating difficulties to trace/or rescue them or
to extend any help to them in
case of any incident. The panchyat must keep a
register of the migrants, which
would reveal their names, destinations of
migration so that in case of any
eventualities necessary support could be
extended, said Sahu further.
“I have not received any information so far on
this incident (Od Gautam’s fate),”
said District Labour Officer (DLO) PK Bhoi. “I
will look into the matter,” he
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
BHUBANESWAR | Friday, April 15, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back
No safety net: Inter-district migrants become more vulnerable
April 15, 2011 3:50:47 AM
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
The recent rescue of 37 migrant labourers, from the Tiger brick kilns
in Balianta block of Khurda district, has brought a new dimension to
It tells tale on the absence of any State policy and Act to save the
migrant labourers from torture and exploitation within the State.
The rescued are all from Raghupadar village under Loisingha block in
the district here. Migrant labourers of Golamunda, Dharmagarh and
Koksara also go to Kendrapara area for brick-laying work where
exploitation by the contractors is allegedly at its height.
"Even the villagers of Kalahandi district, invariably from all the
areas, go to Bargarh district every year for crop-cutting. There they
do not get the minimum wages," pointed out Dilip Das of Kalahandi.
Pertinent to note that there is the Inter State Migrant (Worksman) Act
of 1979 for the labourers migrating outside Odisha.
As per the provisions in the Act, they should be taken by a registered
contractor and all the details of the migrants, including destination
points should be given to the Labour officials/Panchayat and within 15
days of migration by the principal employer/labour contactor.
Ironically, the provisions are more breached than observed.
It is common to find reports of hundreds of labourers migrating to
outside States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in search
of jobs and facing exploitations and torture.
While they are usually rescued under the Inter-State Migrant (Worksman)
Act, only a few cases are rescued under the Bonded Labour (Prohibition
and Regulation) Act.
However, if a migrant faces torture and exploitation in his own State,
there is no sufficient law/rules to ensure the rights and entitlements
of these labourers in order to provide punishment to the principal
employer, sources said.
"These labourers are partly covered under the Contract Labour Act and
Labour Act," pointed out Nandi Kishore Sandh of Link Worker Scheme of
He further added that it is the Labour Department which rescues and
releases them while their rehabilitation is the duty of the Panchayati
However, there is hardly any coordination between these two
"Either there should be effective coordination between the two
departments to deal with the issue or the issue of rehabilitation of
the labourers, rescued under the Bonded Labour Act, should be the
responsibility of the Labour Department," opined Nandi.
Besides, their Public Distribution System (PDS) need to be ensured.
When the poor migrants migrate to outside States, their PDS items are
almost lost and it finds way to the black market which is a common
phenomenon in the KBK districts and western Odisha region.
"While the migrant labourers are within the State, why their PDS
entitlements should not be given to them," Umi Daniel of Bhubaneswar-
based Migration Information and Resource Centre questioned.
As per reports, out of the 10 million migrants, there are seven million
inter- district migrants in the State.
"If such a huge number of people are migrant labourers in the State,
the Government should enact a law for them," Daniel opined further.
According to him, in the wake of the Right to Education (RTE) having
become a fundamental right, the education of the migrant children
should also be ensured in the place where the migrants are working
within the State.
"The tortured, exploited and rescued migrants 'within the State' should
also be rehabilitated under the Bonded Labour Act as these labourers
are also working almost under the same condition that of the other
migrants outside States, besides facing torture and exploitation which
fulfils the criteria of coming under the purview of the Bonded Labour
Act," argued Saroj Barik.
If there is a report of migrants being tortured within the State, the
rural community and civil society organisations should take up the
rescue process swiftly, he opined further and rued that it is not
happening in reality.
"A preliminary level dialogue with the Labour, Education, Civil
Supplies and other departments to deal with the issue is going to be
taken up soon and we would sensitise the Labour officials how to deal
with the migrant labour rescue case," informed Umi Daniel.
It is high time the State Government should enact a separate Act for
these people and should also take necessary steps to check
exploitation, city residents here have demanded.