47 children rescued from brick kilns in Hyderabad

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Bhubaneswar: A day after Pragativadi published news on the plight of migrant workers from Odisha in Hyderabad, as many as 47 children were rescued from the brick kilns.

The children, employed at brick manufacturing units located on the outskirts of Hyderabad, were rescued on Tuesday night. Four cases were also registered against their employers in this regard.

According to sources, the special team of Rachakonda police and ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’, child rescue teams conducted raids at the brick kilns in Adibatla and Pahadishareef areas and rescued 47 children including 28 girls.

The children were reportedly forced to work in the brick kilns in a hazardous condition. They were sent to a rescue home at Nimboliadda.

The police registered four cases under Sections 374 of IPC, Section 79 of the Juvenile Justice Act and Section 14 (1) of the Child Labour Act.

Worth mentioning, Pragativadi on Tuesday published a report that a couple from Kalahandi district who had migrated to work in a brick kiln near Hyderabad was forced to cremate their only son in the city on Monday after the employer denied them permission to go home.

Soon after the news broke, Rachakonda Commissionerate contacted the Pragativadi to find out the exact location of the brick kilns. Following the information, the police team raided the brick kilns and rescued the children.

SN Jaweed, Inspector of Police, Malkajgiri Zone of Rachakonda Commissionerate, in an official email to Pragativadi, thanked the portal team for the cooperation in providing the information and helping in rescuing the child labourers.

According to the details report published in Pragativadi, Bunga Baria who had received an advance amount of Rs 60,000 from the owner of the kiln, pleaded the government to help him return to his village at least to complete the customary rituals.

In October last year, 35-year- old Baria and his wife hailing from the Narla block in Kalahandi received the advance amount of Rs 60,000 from a person to work in a brick kiln in Telangana to clear their previous debts. Later, the duo accompanied by their two daughters and son- Naresh set off to a place near Hyderabad to make bricks till they cleared the loan amount. The owner assured to pay them at the end of each week, and the deal seemed fine.

However, on their arrival to the brick kiln, Baria found the scene quite in contrast to what they had been promised. “We found a number makeshift plastic tents and a shop to collect essentials. There was so much dust everywhere and it felt as if the lungs were chocking. There were many others like us working day and some even worked past midnight. We resigned to our fate and decided to work hard so that we clear the dues quickly and head back home,” said an emotional Baria as he narrated his ordeal.

As the couple got busy with brick layings, six-year-old Naresh began developing health issues.

“He would cough and have congestion and we thought it was because of the bricks and the dust. We wanted to move out but we had no choice until we had paid off the loan,” Baria had said.

Despite several requests, the owner and his men would not allow Baria to take his son to the hospital. Subsequently, the child’s chest started developing a blue tinge and over a period of time changed to black colour. After a lot of persuasions, one of his men took our son to some medical shop and bought medicines,” he recalled.

The boy’s condition only worsened and he breathed his last inside the brick kiln on Sunday evening. Despite repeated pleadings, owners of the brick kiln did not allow them to go home with the body.

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