Victims’ mothers approach court over forced labour in textile mill

Image Courtesy: sohu.com

Two women said to be mothers of two girls working at a spinning mill in Tamil Nadu (India), have reportedly approached the court, seeking intervention and to provide their release from captivity.

The girls identified as Ellamal Raman and Bhuvaneshwari (both cousins) have been employed with KPR Mill Limited in Karumathampatti premise, Coimbatore, one of the largest yarn manufacturers in the region, a report published in Reuters claims. The unit produces around 90,000 metric tonnes of cotton annually.

The mothers, in their petition, have stated that their daughters need help to bring them home. However, the victims have reportedly not been allowed to leave the premises since September last year. They said that the teenagers have developed severe rashes on their hands, been bitten by bed bugs and require immediate treatment.

The mill manager, Thangavelu Karrupasamy, contrary to the accusation said the girls were being paid minimum wages of Rs. 332 (US $ 5) per day and their medical needs were also taken care of. The official said they would be entitled for leaves to go home after this month as they joined the mill in September.

Majority of young workers are drawn from poor families and are housed in hostels within the factory or mill premises. The workers, mostly women, are confined to their hostels after their shifts and are only allowed a weekly visit to the neighbourhood market with guards, the report added.

There was another report that surfaced recently claiming that a supplier of Hugo Boss was also involved in human rights violation at a mill.

Tamil Nadu is home to more than 1,500 mills which makes it one of the biggest textile hubs in India. These mills provide employment to around 400,000 workers to turn cotton into yarn, fabric and clothes.