VELLORE: Members of the International Justice Mission (IJM), an NGO engaged in prevention and rescue of bonded labourers, in association with a local NGO ‘Thenral Iyyakkam,’ conducted an event through cultural shows at Ranipet on Monday, as part of their State-wide campaign to curb bonded labour.
Mathew Joji, communication officer, IJM said, the campaign was launched by the TN Governor Rosaiah last week. Ranipet Revenue Divisional Officer Priyadharshini called upon the NGOs to work closely with the government to prevent bonded labour. She stressed on the need for sensitising the Irula community, which was vulnerable to bonded labour. Rachel, director, community relations, attached to IJM said, 1,780 bonded labourers had been rescued by the IJM in association with various NGOs across the State last year. This year so far around 440 had been rescued. She said, the State had released around `136 lakh for the rehabilitation measures of these bonded labourers.
The campaign also stressed on a plea to the State to appoint a special officer to address the issue of bonded labour. The State should also draw an action plan as a system level response to the issue. While the SC had in 2012 directed the States to conduct a survey on the plight of bonded labourers, it had not been done so.
Mathew said, a helpline facility (8056080000) had also been launched by the IJM for the first time in the country to deal with matters related to bonded labour.