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Unsatisfied with action of Telangana authorities, NHRC recommends release, rehabilitation of minor girl kept as bonded labour

ANI | Updated: Apr 28, 2021 09:32 IST

New Delhi [India], April 28 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), contrary to the initial reports from the public authorities in Telangana, has found that a minor girl from Odisha was kept as a bonded labour at a brick kiln in Hyderabad as her mother was unable to repay the money borrowed from the agent of the brick kiln owner and died due to illness.
The commission on Tuesday asked the DM, Telangana to issue her release certificate and start the process of her rehabilitation, and directed the Chief Secretary of Telangana to get enquired why the Assistant Commissioner of Labour in Hyderabad did not associate the complainant before sending the report and record the statement of the victim before sending the report to it.
Earlier, in a response to the notices of the NHRC, the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Hyderabad had submitted a report stating that the mother went to Odisha in February 2020 after borrowing Rs 32,000 for treatment.

"She passed away on May 4, 2020. Her daughter could not go because of the lockdown. After the issue of movement pass, she went to Odisha on May 25, 2020, and Rs 2,000 was also paid as return journey allowance as per the provisions of the Inter-State Migrant Workers Act," the NHRC release said.
However, the commission said it found it difficult to believe that a minor daughter would leave her sick mother alone and stay back at the brick kiln.
"The commission also observed that the authorities had not taken the statement of the victim girl, to ascertain whether the statement of the employer was correct or not. Therefore, the District Magistrate, Hyderabad and the District Magistrate, Nabarangpur, Odisha were directed to enquire into the matter afresh and submit a detailed report to the commission," NHRC added.
Considering the material on record, the NHRC said that the victim could not return to her village despite the death of her mother as her employer did not allow her to leave the place, and she had been forced to work till settlement of advance received by them.
"She returned only with the help of the Local Public Representatives, District Administration and State Labour Machinery in the month of June 2020. The commission observed that the victim appeared to have been forced to do the work till the settlement of advance taken by her mother," NHRC said. (ANI)