Bhubaneswar, Sept 30 (LocalWire): Orissa Human Right Commission (OHRC) today directed the state government to furnish a report on the distress migration scenario in the state and measures initiated by it to address the recurring migration of workforces.
A three-member panel headed by Justice Bimal Prasad Das asked the state labour secretary to submit a detailed report on steps taken by the government to curb the disturbing trend.
The Rights watchdog sought the report from the government while disposing off an earlier petition relating to barbaric torture inflicted on a child working in a brick kiln in Kulbargi, Karnataka in 2014.
The child had returned home in Patnagarh area in Bolangir district in with a broken elbow after tortures inflicted by the owner.
The Rights panel acting on petition moved by activist Biswapriya Kanungo had earlier asked the state to pay Rs 50,000 and had directed the government to take up the matter with their Karnataka counterpart for criminal prosecution of the accused.
The matter was disposed off with the government submitting a report of compliance of OHRC’s order.
With abysmal lack of employment opportunity, people from backwards areas of the state, mostly from western districts migrate to neighbouring states in search of employment. In the process, these defenceless people are ensnared in bondage labour system and fall prey to exploitative practice of tyrannical employers.
Tales of torture of distress migrant workers trickle in at periodic intervals.
According to officials in the state labour directorate, 11 districts – Bolangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Subrnapur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Khordha – have been identified as migration-prone zones.
While the government puts the distress migration figure at 1.30 lakh, the actual figure could go up ten-fold.
At least 30 gram panchayats in Bolangir and Nuapada districts in western Odisha were found to be the worst distress-migration-prone spots as per the latest survey conducted by agencies entrusted by the government.
The survey has made a headcount of 38,000 people from 11,000 families migrating to other states in search of livelihood.
A total number of 1309 gram panchayats in these districts have been brought under the orbit of the special work plan initiated by the government to curb labour migration.
Two toll free telephone numbers have been installed in the Labour Directorate to provide guidance and assistance to the migrant workers for registration, distress mitigation and rescue.
206 seasonal hostels for children of migrating families have also been set up in different migration prone gram panchayats.
The institution of seasonal hostels have prevented potential child labour, the officials said.