Hyderabad

Lens on bonded labour in TS

‘Have to accept severity of the problem to fight it’

A workshop on ‘Bonded Labour-Free Telangana State’ at the Dr MCR HRD Institute on Tuesday saw some plain speaking as well as brainstorming over solutions to fight the age-old menace in the State.

“To fight bonded labour, the first thing we have to do is accept the severity of the problem. Bonded labour has gone from being confined to agricultural fields to something more subtle and sinister,” said Ahmed Nadeem, Commissioner, Labour Department, setting the agenda for the day-long workshop. India has 79,89,000 people in bondage, according to the Global Slavery Index-2018.

New forms

“We have to identify the new forms of bonded labour that are evolving. We have to identify the people who are suffering. We have to work out appropriate rescue and rehabilitation methods,” said Mr. Nadeem, in his opening remarks.

“The revenue, police and labour departments have to act together to crack down on all forms of bonded labour. We have to brush up our knowledge so that we understand and learn how to tackle the exploiters and help the exploited,” he told the assembled officials drawn from Revenue, Police and Labour Departments from across the State.

Telangana government has created a corpus of ₹10 lakh per district to fight bonded labour, said Shashank Goel, Principal Secretary. “I see bonded labour as physical and economic exploitation against the wishes of the people. Bonded labour is still prevalent and the battle is on, though laws to curb the menace were framed in 1976,” said Mr. Goel as he spelled out the steps taken by the government to eradicate the problem.

Rehabilitation

“We have district-level committees which meet regularly and are working on rescuing and rehabilitating people in bondage. They have been sensitised about the way they should deal with the rescued people,” he said.

Other officials and participants spoke about the need for better collaboration between various departments and a national perspective to eradicate the social malaise.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 9:41:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/lens-on-bonded-labour-in-ts/article28336467.ece

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