Bonded labour has to be eliminated from India: Dattatreya

New Delhi: Bonded labour has to be eliminated from the Indian society in a time-bound manner through the coordinated efforts of all stakeholders, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said today.

In his presidential address while inaugurating a two-day national workshop on ‘Total Abolition of Bonded Labour System: The way forward’ at V V Giri National Labour Institute (VVGNLI) in Noida, Dattatreya said three groups — judiciary, media and civil society — play an important role in highlighting the issue.

They put pressure on district administration, police and state labour departments for action against culprits and strive for the rehabilitation of bonded labourers with the help of NGOs.

He said the liberated children, women and adults have to be provided with good education and skills for their social and economic empowerment.

In the larger public interest, a revamp of the existing system on elimination of bonded labour is the utmost need of the hour, he added.

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourers, 1978, was last revised in May 2000 and a revision of the same was felt essential to address the present day challenges.

Accordingly, a revamped scheme was prepared by the ministry and circulated to all state governments, NHRC and different ministries. Based on the suggestions and inputs received from all quarters, including social sector partners, the Centre approved the revamped scheme with effect from May 17, 2016.

Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi delivered the keynote address at the inaugural function.

The two-day workshop will focus on revision of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Rules, 1976. The revised Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Scheme, 2016 will also be deliberated on for its effective implementation.