Srinagar, 17 August: A team of National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour (NCCEBL) has rescued bonded Labourers, from Srinagar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
NCCEBL, a part of Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC), Human Rights Network (HRLN) New Delhi, in coordination with the district authorities, raided many construction sites in Nowgam and Hyderpora areas of Srinagar district and rescued illegally trafficked 12 number of labours namely Sunil Kumar (18) Murliganj Madipura Bihar, Lale Sar Dharkar (50) Murliganj Madipura Bihar, Sital Dharkar (25) Murliganj Madipura Bihar,Jitender Dharkar (26) Murliganj Madipura Bihar, Munna Dharkar (20) Murliganj Madipura Bihar, Vakil Kumar Dharkar Shiksha Nagar Banmankhi Bihar(23), Chandan Dharkar Murliganj Bihar (25), Durga Kumar Murliganj Bihar (13 Minor), Deepak Kumar Murliganj Bihar(17)Minor, Domi Kumar Murliganj Bihar (20) said a statement.
“These bonded labourers were trafficked from Bihar by agents Sanjay and Mohammad Amjad both residents of Aradiya district of Bihar, who promised them work and later made them do forced work for contractors operating buildings in Srinagar District of Jammu & Kashmir,” it said.
The statement said that these labourers were made to work for 17 hours altogether without proper meals and any wages.
“Even small children minors were not spared and were made to do work at construction sites at Nowgam and Hyderpora areas in Srinagar district and some of them contracted diseases due to lack of any basic amenity. Earlier many of them suffered chest related ailments as they couldn’t bear shivering cold in Kashmir,” it said.
The labourers, it said, were beaten to pulp by the goons of the agent.
It added that their rehabilitation was a challenge due to lack of proper mechanisms in India to provide rehabilitation to rescued bonded laboureres.
“Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 does assure same but implementation remains a tough challenge,” it said.Convener NCCEBL, Nirmal Gorana said: “Thousands of bonded labourers are still doing forced labour in Jammu & Kashmir and there is no mechanism in place for their repatriation and rehabilitation.”
“There is a need to bust this illegal trafficking racket of bonded labourers which includes women and to break this vicious cycle of trafficking and forced labour where agents on allurement of promising work carry these labourers from State to State,” he added.
Pertinently, the United Nations, in a recent report on slavery, highlighted the stark reality of 40 million slaves in India. 25 million among these include forced labour.