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8 bonded labourers, two among them women, rescued in Bharuch, Gujarat.

Date : 07/02/2019

As part of the continuous national campaign to abolish the slavery and to rescue bonded labourers across India, a rescue team led by the National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour (NCCEBL) comprising of Advocate Pratik Rupala, Advocate Govind Parmar associated with HRLN Gujarat, Social Activist Yash Makwana, local administration, Labour officials of the concern district along with the Gujarat Police had rescued eight bonded labourers, 6 men and two women, from a JBC company owned brick kiln in Bharuch, Gujarat on February 6th, 2019.

According to the laborers, they were brought from Rajasthan after paying them an advance of Rs. 80,000 on November 24th, 2018. from Bharuch, Gujarat on 6th February 2019. Amraram a labourer said , “on 27th December 2018, Radha Kishan Meghwal had trafficked his family members of eight people from Nagaur, Rajasthan to Bharuch, Gujarat. The workers were sold to Ajay Jamadar by Radha Kishan Meghwal in Bharuch, Gujarat and they were being forced to work there. The workers are living in miserable conditions and they are also beaten up by Ajay Jamadar and other people when they asked to go home or demand for their rights. There are restrictions on the workers movement and employment”.

NCCEBL had received information from Amraram that eight of his family members were paid an advance of Rs 10,000 each by Radha kishan Meghwal resident of Rena village, Block Degana, District Nagaur, Rajasthan. Amraram approached Ajay Jamadar with money for the release of his family members but they were not allowed to leave. Amraram strongly sensed that his family members lived in danger.

The rescued team had gone to the site situated at Nebipur village near by Bharuch district with the committee. After the committee reached at the spot, they called all the informant labourers in front of them and started asking questions regarding issue. The Committee found that the owner of the Jamadar Bricks Corporation had forced them to work there and they did not provide primary facilities like water, electricity and proper shelter home to the labourers. The owner did not pay a salary to them. Committee took statements from bonded labourers and decided to release all them immediately. After the labourers were released, they were sent back to their native village.

The National Convener of the NCCEBL, Mr. Nirmal Gorana said, “There are thousands of bonded labourers are working in the agricultural and brick firms in Gujaraat. There is no mechanism to implement the bonded labourer’s schemes. State government has not used its budget allocation for the welfare of the bonded labourers. Government should fully implement the bonded labourer law and rehabilitation schemes.”

Bonded labour is another form of modern-day slavery that has spread its tentacles in India. Bonded labour is any kind of labour or service rendered under the bonded labour system. It is illegal in all of its forms. The Bonded Labour System (abolition) Act, 1976 provides definitions as what constitutes “bonded labour” according to the law. It is said that a bonded labourer is a labourer who incurs or has presumed to have incurred a bonded debt. A bonded debt is an advance obtained/presumed to have been obtained by a bonded labourer under or in pursuance of the bonded labour system restrictions in employment and movement, working on nominal or no wages and beggar work.

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