Bonded labourer survivor celebrates Teachers’ Day!

Moorthi, a young man who was once trapped within the confines of a brick kiln celebrates being a teacher today! Having been a victim of bonded labour for almost all his life, once freed, Moorthi faced numerous challenges – finding his feet in freedom, building self-confidence, overcoming past traumas and so on. But young Moorthi prevailed over them and has settled down as a teacher who inspires his students to lead lives of meaning and self-worth.

Moorthi was about 17 years old when he was rescued from a brick kiln in 2014. Until then, he had been bonded in various places for the advances his family had borrowed to fight through their lives of poverty. His father had abandoned him when he was still young and his mother, unable to withstand the pressures of life, had committed suicide, leaving him and his sister to fend for themselves. Moorthi dropped out of school to accompany his sister as she worked hard to repay the loan his father had borrowed.

When he was rescued by the District Government of Tiruvallur, Moorthi was highly malnourished. He seemed hopeless and incapable of coping with the new demands of his life in freedom. When he got a job, his innocence and hard work were taken advantage of. He was paid poorly, and he ended up feeling miserable.

It was while he was struggling with low self-esteem, a sense of unworthiness and guilt that he decided to equip himself with a skill which would help him live with dignity. After weighing the options presented to him through IJM’s rehabilitation programme, he chose to enrol in Intermission Industrial Development Association (IID) and pursue training in carpentry. He soon learned the skill and mastered the required techniques.

Seeing his ability and his attitude of giving his best at everything, the IID Management absorbed him as a tutor. Today, Moorthi trains others who hail from vulnerable backgrounds and equips them with skills required to build their lives.

From a boy who lost everything, Moorthi found inspiration in the negativity that engulfed him. It made him aspire to a better life and he has worked his way up to having a stable job that not only helps him sustain his freedom but helps others do it as well.

IJM congratulates Moorthi for growing into a mature and capable teacher who inspires and influences his generation!