Text message frees exploited labourers in India

Topic: Communication, Uses of SMS

chained feetRecent reports have unveiled that 107 bonded factory workers in India were rescued last week because of one text message.Durga Swansi sent the SOS text message to his sister on May 27th. When she received the message, she took the information straight to the authorities.For Durga, the ordeal began shortly after he quit his studies due to poverty, and started desperately seeking employment. One of his friends introduced him to an agent, who recommended the factory in Bengaluru.At first, the proposition seemed too good to be true. He was promised 7,000 (Indian Rupees) a month (less than $150 AUD). As well as food, clothes and accommodation. The deal would involve 8 hour working days, six days a week, with Sundays off for rest.When Durga reached the factory in April, he saw mobile devices were being confiscated from workers by management. But he hid his phone, with only a tiny bit of credit left, to be used only in the case of an emergency.The work day typically began at 9am, they would get a 10 minute break for lunch around 2pm, and continue working until 2am. If workers stopped for rest, or felt ill, they received beatings.After suffering through these grueling conditions for about a month and a half, Durga sent the text message to his sister, asking her to rescue him from “hell.” However, he was discovered, and brutally beaten for sending the message.Nonetheless, the text message led investigators to the factory, and the workers were freed. Due to Durga’s bravery in sending the text message, and his sister’s swift actions leading authorities to the scene, the agent responsible for sending many boys from the district into the factory was also caught.If you know of any other text messages that have made a difference, we want to hear about them, so leave a comment below!

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Prachi Bametha

Marketing Coordinator, Esendex Australia