Thirty two bonded labourers, 11 of them being children, were rescued from a sugarcane field in Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore district on Tuesday. They were allegedly exploited for seven years over a Rs 50,000 loan taken from an agent, who has been arrested.
The 32 people, all belonging to the Irula tribe, were rescued from Puliyur Kattusaghai by the labour department and district administration after a tip off from a non-profit organization. The rescuers, who were allegedly employed to cut sugarcane, also alleged that the women were also sexually exploited.
"These families were paid from five hundred to thousand rupees a week," Dr K Krishnan, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Sustainable Development, the non-profit organization that gave the tip off, told NDTV. Huge interest was deducted and they were never able to repay the principal. Often they had no job. They moved them in trucks to work in other districts for cash crop related work" he said.
The rescued people come from seven families that were exploited in the same district for around seven years.
The Cuddalore District administration is working on issuing them rescue certificates and rehabilitating them. They are eligible for Rs 1 lakh each and will initially be paid Rs 20,000.