With 1,39,56,010 enslaved citizens, why is slavery not an agenda for Lok Sabha elections?
The real plight, however, lies in the collective apathy, explains activist Lenin Raghuvanshi, a member of the District Vigilance Committee on Bonded Labour in Uttar Pradesh.
Lenin, who is also the founder of People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) reveals, “In just the last two and half years PVCHR released and rescued 243 bonded labours.”
He observes, “All the released labour belonged to Dalits, tribal, OBCs and minorities communities. So, it wouldn't be so far fetched to say that existence of caste system, communalism and patriarchy are the real causes of persistent slavery.”
Corruption or non-performance of safety nets and practices of land grabbing and asset domination by high caste groups leaves people without protections.
Further asserting this hypothesis, he adds, “Landless poor, agricultural labourers, some artisans and those without employment are the main victims of this system. Workers employed therein are members of SC, ST and minorities who are mostly non-literate and non-numerate and do not easily understand the arithmetic of loan/ debt/ advance and the documentary evidence remains with the creditor and its contents are never made known to the debtor.”