On 25th May 2014 bonded labour survivors had a unique opportunity to share their plight and address issues with key government officials at a public hearing in Patna. The hearing was also intended to ensure statutory rehabilitation assistance and other ancillary benefits under different government schemes were provided to the survivors present at the event.
Shri Sanjay Kumar-IAS, Secretary, Labour Resource Department, Government of Bihar was present as the Chief Guest.
Hon’ble Justice J.M. Sharma- Patna High Court and Shri A.K. Parashar, Joint Registrar (Law) – National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi were distinguished guests at the hearing. They participated as part of the panel along with Shri A.V.Sinha, Principal Secretary, State Human Rights Commission (SHRC)-Bihar, Shri Arvind Pandey, Inspector General-Darbhanga Range, Shri Suresh Kr. Sinha, Labour Commissioner, Mohd. Mukhtar Ahmed, Joint Labour Commissioner – Labour Resource Department, and Dr. Aparna, State Nodal Officer-Bonded Labour.
“I was forced to work for long hours with my wife and daughter in the scorching heat. My daughter once fell terribly sick and needed immediate medical attention, but the employer did not allow us to stop working. He said, ‘She is your problem, not mine,’” shared one of the survivors. He and others came forward in order to submit a petition to be declared bonded labourers under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.
The event was held at A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Gandhi Maidan, Patna.
This article was also published on the Bandhua 1947 blog.
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