Bonded labour in Agriculture
India has always spearheaded the cause of the downtrodden. When we gave support to the antiapartheid movement in South Africa or side with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Middle East we stood against injustice, exploitation and social or political discrimination in the world. But all this seems quite a part of international populism when people in our own country are exploited to the extent that they lead the life of slaves.
A large number of poor, ignorant and illiterate men, women and children work like slaves in the quarries on Delhi-Haryana border under the very nose of the Central Government. The life they lead and the condition in which they work is so ignoble that even the lives of the slaves in the palaces of the nawabs in…show more content… There are certain agencies throughout the country that work even in the innermost parts of the rural areas. Their agents allure the poor and ignorant people with promises of employment.
The modus operandi is common everywhere. The laborer is generally given Rs. 500. A bond is got signed about which the illiterate laborer does not know anything. He is taken to Delhi, Haryana, Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh where the contractors work.
Swami Agnivesh made a survey of Delhi and Haryana. To his surprise he found hundreds of laborers working in the quarries under dangerous conditions. They were huddled in humble cottages and were given only two square meals as wages. Most of them suffered from fatal lung diseases.
The mafias employed by the contractors did not allow them to either meet other laborers or see any outsider. They had normally to work for ten or twelve hours. Men, women and children all were employed. It was a herculean task for the Swami and other social workers to get them freed with the help of some advocates who moved the Supreme