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Bonded labour of TN  Irula tribes in Karnataka becomes a teething issue in Krishnagiri district

- April 5, 2022

Chennai, April 5 (BPNS)

The Tamil movie ‘Jai Bhim’ by Super Star Surya had depicted the woes of the Irula community of the state who are mainly snake charmers and snake catchers. The movie was based on a real-life incident that led to the death of an Irula man following brutal police torture.

Several members of the community are now living as bonded labourers on duck farms and paddy farms in Karnataka and most of them are working for a pittance in these farms.

Sengottayian, an Irula tribal who was rescued by the social activists narrated the ordeal he has to face in a duck farm in Karnataka, “ Myself, my wife and my two children aged 3 and 9 years were working in the duck farm from dawn to dusk and we were paid Rs 500 per day. While I have to work in the farm, my wife has to do all the household chores. We were rescued from this ordeal by a group of social workers.”

Recently two children from Irula community of Krishnagiri, aged 14 and 12 were sent to Karnataka by their parents to rear ducks about a year ago and have not returned to their native Bargur in Krishnagiri district.

Arumugam and Malasri of Kamatchipuram had sent their children in a duck rearing farm in Mandya district of Karnataka and the children have not returned since then.

The Irula tribal family said that a person named Shankar had taken their children to the duck farm and had promised 55000 per child for a year and even after one year the children have not returned. Arumugham while speaking to BPNS said, “ I spoke to my children after the intervention of my panchayat president, K. Jayanthi.  We were given Rs 16000 in three installments and after that, he did not pay us. We want the children back.”

Krishnagiri district child welfare officer, Sivagandhi while speaking to BPNS said, “ The parents should file a petition before us, then only we can act.”

When contacted, Krishnagiri district superintendent of police said that the police will act once the formal complaint is lodged.