VILLUPURAM-All 14 bonded labourers from the district, who were recently rescued from a sugarcane field in Pudukkottai, reached here on Monday and were promised compensation by the district administration. Among the rescued were four children.
Each of them will get Rs 20,000 within a week to help purchase cattle to earn their livelihood. Pudukkottai district revenue personnel handed them over to the Revenue Divisional Officer of Villupuram, following which their release certificates were verified.
Interacting with the press here on Monday, the rescued labourers recounted their ordeal and how the women were often sexually abused — all for borrowing a miniscule sum of money from a usurer.
The rescued labourers comprised three families — all Irulars and hailed from Pakkam village in Vanoor taluk in Villupuram district. They were rescued from a cane field at Melapaniyur village in Thirumayam taluk in Pudukottai district by revenue officials and police personnel with the help of Adivasi Solidarity Council, a tribal activist organisation.
They were housed at a Panchayat Union Primary School in Pudukkottai immediately after their rescue. C Manoharan, Pudukkottai District Collector, gave them Rs 1,000 each as interim relief before sending them home.
According to officials, since each of the 14 rescued has already received Rs 1,000, they would get Rs 19,000 more from the district administration. The victims were Subramani (40), Ramamurthi (60), Saet (40), Ramesh (32), Kasinathan (55), Subramani (32), Muthulakshmi (35), Lakshmi (45), Sakthi (4), Devaki (30), her son Vignesh (4) and Kausalya (10).