In August 2020, Global March Against Child Labour released an evidence-based report, providing an overview of the situation of child labour with a gender lens in sugarcane harvesting in India. The report highlights that children are pushed into hazardous child labour due to structural poverty among harvesters, most of whom are from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, also referred to as DBA (Dalit, Bahujan, Adivasi/Tribal) in this article, because of exploitative hiring practices resulting in debt bondage. It was found that traditional gender-based norms contributed significantly to child labour by normalising unequal wages and unpaid family work.
Lenin takes us through the sordid and macabre accounts of contemporary slavery in brick kilns, based on actual accounts of the hapless victims. Driven by hunger and starvation, many children die of malnutrition. When the bonded labourers ask for money for the treatment of sick children, they are beaten up, blue-black. Children die, young girls and women are sexually exploited. People cannot escape the debt traps and clutches of the brick kiln owners. They are hounded. Police are hand-in- gloves with the brick kiln owners. Against all odds, his organisation, Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), has stood up for the cause of the Dalit and Musahar victims. There is a new dawn of dignity and identity for hopeless victims. Here’s a special story, an in-depth report to combat and resolve the problems, on the occasion of May Day by Different Truths (DT) and PVCHR.