Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Balangir migrant labourer dies after falling from train FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2011 00:56 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR and few other migrant missing torture stories inthe Pioneer

Balangir migrant labourer dies after falling from train

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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

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

Due to the callous attitude of the district administration, a poor migrant from the district who had gone to Andhra to work in brick kiln and has gone missing since past five years is yet to be traced.
 Neither the Labour Department not the police are taking any action in this regard despite repeated petitions by the wife of the hapless migrantAccording to reports, one Goura Puta of Goelmara village under Patnagarh police station was taken to Hyderabad by one Debar Dharuaa of the same village in October 2008 to work in brick kiln.
While taking Goura, Debar had told Sebati Puta, wife of Goura, that his son Chouban Dharuaa was working there in Hyderabad and he was taking Goura for a visit and he would return soon. “Moreover, my husband also told me to return within seven days,” said Sebati Puta. “As my husband did not return I enquired about his whereabouts and Debar did not give me any satisfactory answer,” she added.
Meanwhile, Chouban has returned home and he is also not keeping mum about Gaura’s whereabouts. “In 2008, I had submitted a petition with the district administration appealing for rescue of my husband but nothing happened. Today again, I am submitting application to district Collector, District Labour Officer and police to trace my husband who has been missing since past five years,” says Sebati.
Even though the Government has announced various employment generation schemes like MGNERGA to provide work to people at their door steps and thereby stop migration, yet reports of poor people from this region migrating to other States in search of jobs and facing exploitation, torture and even missing for years are coming to fore from time to time.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
Even as the Government is making tall claims of providing job works at door steps to the poor people through various job schemes like MGNREGS, yet there is no end to distress migration from the poverty-struck district here and the migrant workers facing torture at the hands of their employers.
According to reports, Maniram Parabhue along with family members including his wife Mithila Parabhue and three children of Badtukula village under Tureikela police station had moved to Andhra Pradesh after Nabanna last year (September) to work in brick kilns. They reached Kapalapalli village through broker Arjun Behera of Kantabanji.
After working for a few days, Maniraam fell sick. So, he began to work less. This enraged his employer, who assaulted him and left him injured. When Maniram sought treatment, he was assaulted again.
Similar was the fate of many fellow workers.
However, one Jalandhar Parabhue managed to inform about their plight to the labour officials in Balangir. With the help of the local administration of AP, about five were rescued by the Balangir administration and the labour officials. But Maniraam was still to be rescued as he went missing.
“My husband Maniraam is missing till today. I suspect he has been killed there and appeal to the district administration to look into the matter,” said a sobbing Mithila.
Meanwhile, social workers have demanded immediate steps by the district administration to trace out missing Maniraam and appropriate rehabilitation to his family.
Interestingly, district Collector M Muthukumar in his Republic Day address had asserted that the district administration was very serious about checking distress migration from the district. The latest case has thrown a challenge to the district administration.
When contacted, SP Ravi Prakash said, “I’ll look into the incident.”

No safety net: Inter-district migrants become more vulnerable

BHUBANESWAR | Friday, April 15, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back

No safety net: Inter-district migrants become more vulnerable
April 15, 2011 3:50:47 AM


The recent rescue of 37 migrant labourers, from the Tiger brick kilns
in Balianta block of Khurda district, has brought a new dimension to
the fore.

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
Action Aid.

He further added that it is the Labour Department which rescues and
releases them while their rehabilitation is the duty of the Panchayati
Raj Department.

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.

The Pioneer

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