The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment, Bandaru Dattatreya said that Human Dignity and Freedom are essential part of any democratic society and as such Bonded labour has to be eliminated from our Indian society in a time frame and time bound coordinated effort by all citizens. He emphasised on the awareness generation programme on this issue of bonded labour which is a scourge on our nation, and on convergence of various welfare schemes for the rehabilitation of all the liberated bonded labour adults, children and women. In his presidential address while inaugurating a Two-day National Workshop on “Total Abolition of Bonded Labour System: The way Forward" in V.V. Giri National Labour Institute (VVGNLI) in Noida today, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya said that three activists i.e. Judiciary, Vibrant Media and Civil Society groups play an important role in bringing forth the pressure on district administration, police and state labour departments for action against culprits and rehabilitation of the liberated bonded labour with the help of NGOs. He said that the liberated children and women and even adults bonded labour has to be provided with good education, skills, work environment and moral values for a change of their mindset for their social and economic empowerment.
In the larger public interest, a revamp from the existing system on elimination of Bonded Labour is the utmost need of the hour. The Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Laborers’ 1978, was last revised in May 2000 and a revision of the same was felt essential to address the present day concerns and challenges. Accordingly, a revamped scheme was prepared by the Ministry and circulated to all State Governments, NHRC, various concerned Ministries of Government of India and based on the suggestions and inputs received from all quarters including the Social Partners, Central Government has approved the revamped Scheme w.e.f. 17th May, 2016. Labour Commissioners and Delegates from the States/UTs, concerned Central Ministries/ Departments, NHRC, and delegates from the Civil Society, Academicians and Non-Governmental Organizations are the principal participants in the workshop being organised in collaboration with ILO India Office.
The Nobel Laureate Dr. Kailash Satyarthi delivered the Key Note address in the inaugural function. The two-day National Workshop focuses on revision of the existing Rules i.e. The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Rules, 1976. The revised Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Scheme, 2016 will also be deliberated on its effective implementation. The first day of the Workshop i.e. 4th August, 2016 is dedicated for consultation with key stakeholders including the Government officials, NHRC, Police and the Judiciary and the second day will be devoted for drafting of key recommendations for amending the 1976 Rules. A draft amendment proposal prepared by the Ministry will be taken up for deliberation. The participants will be senior State and Central Government Officials, Scholars and Academia, Trade Unions and the Voluntary Sector.