Khaprakhol, Balangir, Odisha | Lambodar Takri
On 18th July 2014, Bhakta Das’s son went missing around 5 pm. They searched for him everywhere but could not find him. Early morning, on the 24th of July, he was found dead in a drain inside a small forest.
Bhakta Das tells, ‘we go to Bangalore for making bricks and have been going for the last 5-6 years. We came to our village for two or three months and then go back..for our livelihood. Every day my son would go to Shantilala’s [brick kiln owner] house and watch TV with his children. But the day my son missing, his family expressed their ignorance of whereabouts of my child. We filed a missing case in the police station. When we found his body, his head had been tonsured. There was a black thread around his neck and his hands had been tightly roped from behind. The people in the village said he was probably killed as an offering to Kali (Hindu Goddess). Police and doctors came and did postmortem as well. We buried him. Later the police came to inquire about Uma Das. Uma das is the brother-in-law of Shantilal who owns the brick kiln I work in. Then the police arrested Uma Das and brought him to the police station. I have been trying to speak to everyone and tell them that police has arrested only one person in this case and have not arrested his friends who were also a part of this’.
Hetu Das, Bhakta’s brother-in-law tells, ‘when I first got this information, I contacted the media and organizations working against child labour. The issue got highlighted after the news was in the papers and one person got arrested. But there exists language problem between Odisha and Karnataka. So we failed to exert more pressure on officers to arrest all perpetrators’.
Community Correspondent Lambodar Takri adds, ‘migration has become a practice for searching for a livelihood. A lot of people of western Odisha largely migrate to brick industries of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bangalore with their families. Bhakta das of Chaulabanjhi village of Khaprakhol block in Balangir district went to work in a brick kiln in Bangalore. There he lost his only son who was of 8 years of age’.
Lambodar requests all viewers to please call the District Labor Officer, Balangir on +91-9437203130 and pressurize him so that culprits get arrested and Bhakta Das gets compensated.
Lambodar Takri reports from Balangir, Odisha for IndiaUnheard
Community correspondent Lambodhar Takri reports from Odisha for Video Volunteers. Community Correspondents comes from marginalized communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyper-local context to global human rights and development challenges. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.