So last week was Independence Day here, when the countries of the subcontinent got their freedom from the UK. The work of our office and a partner organization was covered by News 9, a local English-language news station. The segment includes people who were rescued from bonded labour and some of our coworkers:
The segment ran for 50 minutes (21 for content from the segment and 29 for advertising, a ratio that shows the value of that time slot) starting at 6:30pm on Independence Day. Hopefully it is changing the understanding of what is happening here.
One of the people who IJM helped rescue points out that he didn’t understand what Independence was all about until he was free.
Interestingly, an opinion piece in Daily News and Analysis (DNA) placed the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act as one of the top pieces of legislation that guarantees freedom:
However, the Constitution was careful to include restrictions so that unhindered rights would not be detrimental to the rights enjoyed by others. Various legislations have been passed by the Indian Parliament over the 67 years of its history. Below, we list out six landmark legislations that have guaranteed and ensured freedom for the people in the country.
1. Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976: The Act abolished the practice of bonded labour in the country, freeing a person from any bonded services and liquidated the debts as well. The property of the bonded labourer was freed from bondage and the practice of bondage was made punishable by law.