Plea to declare Feb. 9 as ‘Bonded Labour Abolition Day’

Members of Jeevana Jwala, an association of survivors of bonded labour in the State, have urged Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to declare February 9 as ‘Bonded Labour System Abolition Day.’

In a letter addressed to Mr. Jagan, president of the organisation Thudhiya, a survivor of bonded labour herself, pointed to the fact that the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act came into existence on February 9 in 1976. The Chief Minister should declare the day as Bonded Labour System Abolition Day and release a GO on it. She said the move would help create awareness on this social menace and said the Tamil Nadu government had recently declared February 9 as Bonded Labour day officially.

Manigandan, treasurer, Jeevana Jwala, and Drakshiyani and Kowsalya, executive members, suggested that on that day (February 9), the government offices should take a pledge to abolish the bonded labour system, conduct awareness programmes through rallies, campaigns and street plays and present awards for proactive enforcement officials.

They said though the government had been making all-out efforts to eradicate the social menace, cases were still being reported from some parts.

The organisation had reached out to nearly 800 bonded labourers rescued mainly from Chittoor and East Godavari districts by the government departments, with the assistance of International Justice Mission (IJM), an organisation working on the issue of human trafficking and bonded labour since 2003. IJM partners with local governments to combat human trafficking, violence against women and children and other forms of exploitation.

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