Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Human Rights Commission has asked the Odisha government to furnish details regarding the number of brick kiln workers and their family members rescued and rehabilitated, the number brick kiln owners, labour contractors and their conduits prosecuted and what action has been taken against them.
The Commission has asked the Principal Secretary, Labour & ESI, the Labour Commissioner and all the district collectors to enquire into the matter and submit their respective action taken reports within six weeks.
The directive of the Commission came in response to a petition filed by Justice KP Mohapatra (61) who along with the petition had enclosed a news paper clipping in the daily “Swadhikar” published on March 14, 2018 wherein it was alleged that not only in Kendrapara district, but also in other districts of the state where the brick kiln workers and their family members including minor children have been leading miserable lives without proper food, dress, medicine and education to the minor children.
It was further alleged that the agents engaged by the brick mafias illegally hire the brick kiln workers from the tribal districts like Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Balangir, Boudh, Nuapada, Bargarh, Mayurbhanj etc taking advantage of their acute poverty. It is also alleged that the aforesaid works have been going on within the knowledge of the District Labour Office, district administration and the Labour department.
Citing instances of the pitiable plight of the brick kiln workers, the petitioner had prayed the Commission to urgently intervene in the matter and take appropriate action by directing the state government to take appropriate action in safeguarding the human rights of the brick kiln workers and their family and initiating stern action against the brick kiln owners, labour contractors and the brick mafia.