In Tamil Nadu, the Hosur RDO has commenced an investigation into the complaint received by the Krishnagiri district collector that 10 Irulas are being held as bonded labour in a brick kiln in the district.
The complaint was made by an Irula person who is working in the kiln for the past year along with his family.
Sakappan (37), an Irula tribal member from Perunkaadu near Marandahalli in Dharmapuri district in his petition to the district collector, said that he and his family along with another family were working as bonded labourers in a brick kiln at Denkanikottai. He said that the families were working for the past one year in the kiln and they were ten people in total.
The Irula tribe member said that they had taken Rs 75,000 for each family from the brick kiln owner and that they are being harassed by the owner of the brick kiln.
He also said that he, his wife and two children were working in the kiln and there was another family of one Shakthivel. In the petition to the district collector, he said that Sakhivel’s two-year-old daughter died after being electrocuted in the kiln.
The office of the Hosur RDO when contacted informed IANS that the investigation is on and that a team of officials will be visiting the brick kiln and taking a statement from the complainant and necessary action if required.
The Krishnagiri district collector’s office also said that there will be stringent action against anyone who is indulging in bonded labour and brick kiln employment without a proper license.
While in some areas of the state, the Irula community are trying to wriggle out of years of slavery, in some other areas of the state, the community is living in difficult circumstances including working as bonded labourers.