Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

Violence, exploitation and lives lost: Parda case study

Parda shares the story of the death of a migrant worker at a brick kiln from Nuapada. Such narratives of vulnerability must serve as impetus for proper inquiry into working conditions and redressal mechanisms. Names have been changed to protect identities.  

Anand*, from Nuapada, was working in a brick-kiln in Uttar Pradesh. He had taken an advance of Rs. 40,000 from an agent in the area, and had migrated a brick kiln in the Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

After making around 1 lakh 30 thousand bricks; Jugeswar wanted to finalize his dues and sought leave from the brick kiln owner. However, his wife Pooja* claims that instead of this, he was taken aside and violently beaten by his employers and his munim. Pooja reports seeing her husband, gravely injured, lying bleeding on the floor at night.

However, Anand was found hanging from a tree near the brick kiln office in the morning when the police came.

His body was taken to a Sultanpur hospital for postmortem examination, and the postmortem report declared a case of suicide.

Despite the fact that Pooja was ill, and under immense emotional distress, she was made to sign on papers declaring that her husband committed suicide. Although she wanted to bring Anand’s body back to their village, she was forced to sign a declaration of her willingness to perform the cremation rights there itself.

After the cremation, Pooja was sent back to her village. Anand’s agent asked her not to disclose his name and offered to pay her Rs.10,000 if she complied.


Now, the priority of our intervention in this case is to follow it up such that the victim’s wife and children avail the compensation, death benefit under BoCW claim due. We shall also make arrangements for education for the two children left behind by Anand.

Such cases of vulnerability are quite common.

It can be inferred from these circumstances that distress migration is persistent because of unavailability of work at source. Moreover such sad incidents occur because the migrant laborers want to come back after a certain period of time, whereas the employer wants to detain them longer than the period agreed upon in order to exploit them and extract more work. Future planning should be undertaken on the basis of these insights.



People Awareness For Rural Development AgencyPeople’s Awareness for Rural Development Agency (PARDA), was founded in Nuapada District in 1999, with a Gandhian spirit and ideology. The Nuapada geographical area is complex, diverse and risk-prone, and is considered among the most backward regions of the country, popularly known as KBK region of Orissa. PARDA has been extending information and services to marginalized sections of society with a focus on schedule castes and scheduled tribes; working to enable them to assert their rights and identify the causes of their oppression. 


Radhika M. Chakraborty

Radhika M. Chakraborty

Radhika M Chakraborty has completed a degree in English Literature from Delhi University and a Master's degree in Women's Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her research interests include gender and migration, diasporas, Partition, internal displacement and Sindhi culture.
Radhika M. Chakraborty

Latest posts by Radhika M. Chakraborty (see all)

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *