Four siblings in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district were rescued from bonded labour with an NGO’s help. The four brothers were bought by a man who had used them to herd goats. The children were subjugated to bonded labour and had no contact with the outside world for two years.

Sundarrajan and Papathi, who had no source of income due to the pandemic, were approached by Govindarajan who paid Rs 50,000 for their two elder sons, who were nine and eight years old, respectively. He later convinced them by paying Rs 12,000 and took away their two younger sons, seven and six years old.

Govindarajan later sold the two younger siblings to his relatives. The boys were made to graze nearly 500 goats throughout the day, bring them back to the sheds and tend to them.

Govindarajan also ensured that the boys didn’t stay in one place for too long to avoid any suspicion. However, recently, he yelled and hit the two elder brothers over a missing goat. The boys then ran away from the shed and sought help from a villager, who then informed Society for Human and Environmental Development (SHED), an NGO that works for children.

Authorities caught Govindarajan and all four children were rescued. However, as they haven’t been in contact with other people for nearly two years, all four boys didn’t express normal social skills and have now been placed under the district child welfare committee’s care.

Further investigation is underway.


India today

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