Rayagada/Khaprakhol: A bonded labourer from Bolangir district who had gone to Hyderabad to work in a brick kiln Monday died at Rayagada railway station while he was returning home with his family to escape torture at his workplace.
Sushil Malik, a resident of Kadarabhata village under Khaprakhol block, had to escape from Hyderabad to save his life as he was being made to work despite his critical illness and that too without any treatment. However, he died on the way near Rayagada railway station.
The body was taken out of the train and kept on the platform. Passengers were seen consoling Sushil’s disconsolate wife Tapaswini who was waiting for relatives to come from the village to take the body home.
According to reports, Sushil along with his brother Jaydev, Tapaswini and a newborn baby went to Hyderabad about four months ago as he failed to get any job in his village. They took the help of a middleman to get work. The two siblings started working in a brick kiln soon after they arrived at Hyderabad. However, the owner of the factory started torturing them as soon as work began. Their several attempts to flee the place went in vain.
Meanwhile, Sushil suddenly fell ill due to the workload and poor quality of food served to him. Though the matter was intimated to the kiln owner, it didn’t yield any result. Moreover, the labourer was made to work despite his illness. The owner even didn’t bother to provide him medicines for his recovery.
In the meantime, the three along with the baby, somehow, managed to escape from the workplace and board a train from Hyderabad three days ago. Sushil’s condition deteriorated when they were on their way to Visakhapatnam. He finally succumbed at Rayagada while returning from Visakhapatnam to Bolangir. The family alighted from the train with the body. Seeing their pitiable condition, passengers with the help of GRP, sent the body to his native place by an ambulance. It was handed over to the family after post-mortem at Khaprakhol CHC.
Though Patnagarh sub-collector Sharat Chandra Panda handed over Rs 10,000 from the Red Cross fund to the family, locals demanded further assistance to the widow.
Though several Oriya youths migrate to neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal to work as bonded labourers, many of them return home failing to withstand the torture inflicted on them at their workplaces, according to a report. Though the labour department has lately started creating awareness on the issue, the labourers are often found at the receiving end due to lackadaisical attitude of the department officials, it said.