Human Interest
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar has promised to assist in bringing Mariammal’s son back to Tiruppur.
File image/PTI

A mother seeking to save her sons from bonded labour in Thailand has been promised assistance by Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, after sending a petition to District Collector of Tiruppur.

According to reports, Mariammal lives in Kulathipalayam in Tiruppur district, Tamil Nadu. A worker in a garment factory in Tiruppur, she had sent two of her sons – Manikandan (21) and Manithurai (23) – to Thailand in January through an agent, who had promised to secure both the men employment in a garment factory. She paid Rs 2.70 lakh to the agent to help her sons get to Thailand for work.

Months later, she discovered that contrary to the promise made by the agent, both her sons were made to work as bonded labourers in a hotel in Thailand. She managed to contact the hotel owner and paid Rs 88,000 to rescue Manikandan. She had complained to Tiruppur police but alleged no action was taken on the complaint. Determined to bring back her other son Manithurai as well, she approached the District Collector of Tiruppur with a petition seeking help to rescue her son. 

Mariammal’s story was published in the media on Tuesday, after which External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar promised to help bring Manithurai back to Tiruppur. “Thiru Manithurai is being rendered all help & guidance by our Embassy@IndiainThailand to facilitate his exit from Thailand. We are also keeping his family in Tiruppur updated of the situation,” he tweeted on Tuesday evening.

S Jaishankar’s predecessor Sushma Swaraj was also known for taking initiative in helping those stranded abroad and reassuring their families back in India.