Press Information Bureau
Government Of India
Ministry of Labour & Employment
(20-July, 2016 15:45 IST )

Rising number of bonded labourers


Instances of prevalence of forced and bonded labour system are noticed now and then even after its abolition by law with effect from 25th October, 1975. The reasons are spelt out exhaustively at Section 2(g) of The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. The root of the problem lies in the social customs and economic compulsions and they are yet to change in the desired direction.

As per the information received from the States, the number of bonded labourers released and rehabilitated as on 31.03.2016 is enlisted.

Name of the State

Released and Rehabilitated

Andhra Pradesh

31,687

Arunachal Pradesh

2992

Bihar  

14,577

Chhattisgarh

2215

Gujarat

64

Haryana

92

Jharkhand

196

Karnataka

58,348

Kerala

710

Madhya Pradesh

12,392

Maharashtra   

1,325

Odisha

47,313

Punjab

252

Rajasthan

6556

Tamil Nadu

65,573

Uttar Pradesh

37,788

Uttaranchal

5

West Bengal

344

TOTAL

  2,82,429

 

Under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, it is the responsibility of State governments to identify, released and rehabilitate the bonded labour.  In order to assist the State Governments in the task of rehabilitation of identified and released bonded labourers, a Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour was in operation since May, 1978.  Under the Scheme, rehabilitation assistance @ Rs. 20,000 per bonded labour was provided which was equally borne by the Central and State Governments.

            The Government has revamped the Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourers with effect from 17th May, 2016.  The revamped scheme is known as ‘Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer, 2016’.  The salient features of the Scheme are as under:

(1)      The revised scheme is a Central Sector Scheme. The State Government is not required to pay any matching contribution for the purpose of cash rehabilitation assistance.

(2)      Financial assistance has been increased from Rs. 20,000/- to one lakh per adult male beneficiary, Rs. 2 lakh for child labour &women and Rs. 3 lakh to trans-genders, or woman or children rescued from ostensible sexual exploitation.

(3)      The above cash benefit is additional to other land and housing elements etc.

(4)      The amount of assistance for survey of bonded labourers is Rs. 4.50 lakh per district.

(5)      The release of rehabilitation assistance has been linked with conviction of the accused.  

(6)      Scheme provides for creation of District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund with a permanent corpus of at least Rs. 10 lakh at the disposal of the District Magistrate for extending immediate help to the released bonded labourers.

(7)      The fund is released by the Ministry under the Scheme directly to the District National Child Labour Project Society and the District Project Society in turn releases the fund to the implementing agencies including district administration for the purpose of the Bonded Labourer Rehabilitation Scheme forthwith.

(8)      Transfer of benefits to beneficiary account is on DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) mode from District National Child Labour Project Society for cutting delay.

(9)      Special care is made available by the State for addressing the needs of the disabled persons,  female freed bonded labourers and bonded child labour by providing safe and secure environment for the capacity building of child bonded labourers,  facilities for ensuring their proper education, short stay home till education upto class 12th, Skill development, marriage assistance etc.

 

     Apart from the Scheme, a perspective vision document has also been prepared for total abolition of Bonded Labour.  
This information was given by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya,  the Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment, in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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(Release ID :147332)



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