Why are bonded labour activities still prevalent in Punjab & Haryana: HC

Chandigarh: Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to Centre, Punjab, and Haryana governments seeking a reply on why are bonded labour activities still prevalent in the two northern states. While slamming the Punjab and Haryana, the High Court in its notice said that we have Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976 and 2016 guidelines to protect the rights of the workers yet there are workers who are being brought from other states to work as bonded labour in Punjab and Haryana. The petition was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by National Committee Campaign for the Eradication of Bonded Labour (NCCEBL) convenor and social activist Nirmal Gorana through advocate Arjun Sheoran. Kaalu and his family of seven who were trafficked from Saharanpur to Nawanshahr, Daduram who was trafficked from Chhattisgarh to Gurdaspur and Hoshiar Singh who was trafficked from Kasganj to Hisar were rescued by the petitioners along with the authorities. All rescued bonded labour have been issued release certificate, however they are yet to receive their Rs 20, 000 interim relief as per the Centre’s scheme. The petitioners said that appeal for the rehabilitation of all workers, who have been rescued from the locations they were working as bonded labour, has been made. However, no steps have been taken to provide them with rehabilitation. All the rescued labourers should receive minimum wages for the period of their bonded labour, said the petitioners while adding that a mechanism should be created to ensure responsibility of state governments to ensure that activities of bonded labour or modern form of slavery do not occur in their respective states. (News source: Amar Ujala. Translated from Hindi) Click here to read the Amar Ujala article in Hindi