A day after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a notice to the Gautam Budh Nagar administration on ‘bonded’ labourers working at various brick kilns in the district, the labour department has formed three teams to raid the premises at Dadri, Dankaur and Jewar. Around 150 workers, who are working at six brick kilns in the district, had lodged complaints with the NHRC last week.
The labourers have alleged that they are not getting their payments for the past several months. “We had sent a complaint to NHRC in this regard. We are 28 people working at a brick kiln to earn our livelihood. Our employer promised to pay Rs. 480 per 1,000 bricks, but for the last two months we have not been paid our total amount. Instead of giving our dues, he has started threatening us,” said Matru, one of the complainants.
He claims that the brick kiln’s owner treats them as bonded labourers and does not allowing them to move out even if someone falls ill.
Another complainant, Udey Vir Singh, said he, along with two dozen people, was held as bonded labour at a brick kiln in Jewar.
“Around 150 labourers have lodged complaints. We have formed three teams, which will raid the premises and set the labourers free,” Atal Kumar, assistant labour commissioner, told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
“Every month we receive around 10 complaints relating to bonded labour. Last year about 350 bonded labourers were freed from various brick kilns in the district,” said Kumar.