253 cases of bonded labour in Mysore district

All victims have been rescued and released

253 cases of bonded labour  in Mysore district

Mysore, the home district of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, is the only one in the State which has registered cases of bonded labour in 2013-14.

According to the latest survey of bonded labourers conducted by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department across all districts, Mysore alone has reported the banned practice with 253 cases. 

A majority of these cases has been found in HD Kote taluk in Mysore. All these identified bonded labourers have been rescued and released. 

According to Section 2 of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, bonded labour is a situation of loss of freedom to sell one’s labour because one has received a loan (or some other economic benefit or any social obligation).

Survey

The survey of bonded labourers was last conducted in 2001-02, following the rescue of chained bonded labourers from Hangarahalli village in Hassan district in 2000. The previous survey had identified 1,818 confirmed cases of bonded labour, with Mysore district alone accounting for 696 cases and Kolar 370. 

Though the then government made it mandatory to conduct a resurvey of bonded labourers every three years, no action was taken. The National Rural Livelihood Mission under the RDPR Department had ordered the resurvey in July 2012. 

A 15-member vigilance committee headed by deputy commissioner, was constituted in each district for the purpose. After 12 years, the mission has come out with a comprehensive status report on bonded labourers, official sources said.

As per the report, there were a total of 846 cases of bonded labourers in 2012-13. Of these, 845 cases were from Tumkur district and one from Yadgir. However, the mission has not yet considered the Tumkur figure as official and directed the vigilance committee of Tumkur to verify and submit a fresh report.

Mysore Deputy Commissioner C Shikha said the figures given by non-government organisations were not final. “They are only suspected cases. An assistant commissioner has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the issue case by case. The official figure will come out only when the inquiry is over,” she said.

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