Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

Migrant worker rescued from factory: A PARDA Initiative

A migrant labourer lost his left arm while working in a factory in Gujarat but his employer held him captive for over a year to cover up the incident.Lupeshwar Sabar, Tikelal Sahu and Babulal Sahu went to Hibond Cement factory Patidar village, Sapore P.S., Tehsil Gondal, Dist. Rajkot with Kisan Sahu who had earlier been to the factory for work earlier, in November 2012.

They worked in the factory sincerely. But Lupeshwar was asked to clean up such components of the factory which only people with technical qualification only should be allowed to handle.

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Subsequently while doing the cleaning work his hand got trapped in a machine and his left arm got severed from his shoulder. When noticed by the co-workers, he was rushed to the hospital and after treatment he recovered after three months without his left arm. The plight did not end there. Lupeswar was detained in the factory and was asked to work as a watchman paying him a certain remuneration for subsistence.

The matter came to fore after Lupeshwar Sabar (20) managed to flee from the factory premises and reached Nuapada by train on 11th November 2015.

With tears rolling down his cheeks, Lupeshwar, the second of three sons of Baliram Sabar in Mohradihi village under Amanara panchayat, narrated his tale of woes as villagers gathered outside his home.

Lupeshwar accompanied by his father took up the matter with Rudra Charan Pattnaik, director of a voluntary outfit ‘Parada’. Pattnaik assured them of drawing the attention of the authorities concerned to Lupeshwar’s sufferings.

“My dreams have been shattered as I had expected a lot from my son,” Baliram said. He urged the district administration to initiate action against the factory owner and demanded compensation.

Lupeshwar recalled how his arm was severed while working on a machine at Patidar Cement factory at Hundal in Rajkot. The factory owner admitted him to a hospital where he recovered following treatment. But the owner did not let him go back home and instead held him captive on the factory premises. The factory owner even made Lupeshawar work without payment.

Any request to go back to his village would invite retaliatory action from the factory authorities who would beat him up black and blue.

After enduring the torture for over a year, the youth finally managed to flee from the factory premises and reached the nearby railway station Saturday.

He then boarded a train for home and reached the local railway station Sunday.

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