Rehabilitation of Freed Bonded Labourers

NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK – A SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE

The Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge has informed the Rajya Sabha that as per information received from States/Union Territories, the number of bonded labourers released and rehabilitated during the last three years, State-wise and year-wise is as under:

Year Name of the State/UTs No. of bonded labourers released and rehabilitated
2008-09 Bihar 409
Uttar Pradesh 80
West Bengal 54
2009-10 Bihar 264
Uttar Pradesh 100
2010-11

 

Chhattisgarh 688
Uttar Pradesh 100
West Bengal

77

Replying to a written question the Minister said as per the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, the States/Union Territories are mandated to implement the provision of the Act. The information about FIRs registered and disposed is not maintained by the Central Government.

According to the reports received from the State Governments, the number of bonded labourers identified, released and rehabilitated under the Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme as on 31.03.2011 is as under:

Name of the State

Number of Bonded Labourers

Identified and Released

Rehabilitated

Andhra Pradesh

37988

31534

Arunachal Pradesh

3,526

2992

Bihar

14,615

13797

Chattisgarh

812

812

Gujarat

64

64

Haryana

591

89

Jharkhand

196

196

Karnataka

63,437

57185

Kerala

823

710

Madhya Pradesh

13,317

12,392

Maharashtra

1,404

1,325

Orissa

50,029

46901

Punjab

69

69

Rajasthan

7488

6331

Tamil Nadu

65,573

65.573

Uttar Pradesh

29046

29046

Uttaranchal

5

5

West Bengal

344

344

TOTAL

2,89,327

2,69,365

The responsibility for rehabilitating the freed bonded labourers lies with the respective State Governments. 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 is in operation since May, 1978. Under the scheme, rehabilitation assistance @ Rs. 20,000/- per bonded labour is provided which is equally shared by the Central and State Government.  In collaboration with the ILO, the Central Government and State Government of Tamil Nadu have launched a pilot project in the State for the purpose of reducing vulnerability to bondage through promotion of decent work.  Attempt is now being made to replicate this approach in some other states of the country.

 

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