Enjoying their freedom
Introduction - National Domestic Workers Movement has been steadily gaining momentum in India. The fight magnifies on the common ground - “Domestic work is work! Domestic work is not slavery! Domestic workers are, like other workers, entitled to wage rights and decent working conditions!” NDWM constantly undertakes Anti-Trafficking measures to contain the magnitude of workforce migration, child trafficking and forced labour.
Progress of the project - National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM), India has been actively synergizing the efforts of its regional counterparts in building up the movement and curbing the regional sources of trafficking. Right from keeping constant pressure on the government, appealing for the rights for child domestic workers, labourers, migrants and representation at public forums, NDWM has been on an unstoppable quest.
Story of beneficiaries - The harassment of cheap labour in the name of “Giant Corporations and MNCs” is a known issue in villages and small towns of India. Our story is about five young boys from Nuagaon, Upper Tola, a tehsil in Nayagarh district of Odisha, India. An agent named Sekh Sarkar lured the boys to work with the popular brand “Pepsi”. The agent whisked away the boys to the capital city of Delhi, with starlit dreams and expectation of big bucks in their pockets. Once they reached the city, the boys exchanged hands unto another agent who took a ransom commission of Rs 18, 000/- from them. However, their dreams turned into a nightmare when they were again sold to a 2nd agent, Raju Samsi Enterprises, E-107, 1st Floor Sakoorpur, near Samrat Cinema Hall, Delhi 110034. Here began the plight of these young naïve boys who were locked up in a room without food and water for an entire week and when they demanded the agent to let them get out and work with the Pepsi company, they were beaten up badly by some hooligans. One early morning, one of the boys was smart enough to find his way out and call up his parents to brief on their misery. The very next day the parents turned up at the premises of National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM), Odisha and shared their part of the story. The NDWM Odisha staff got into action and took the help of Mr. Digamber Mahanty (General Secretary of Sundargarh Industrial Workers Association) and gave one written FIR to Additional District Magistrate and Labour Department immediately. The Labour Department contacted Delhi police who swiftly went about their duty and rescued the five young boys from the clutches of bonded labour and slavery.
Project accomplishments – NDWM traced the trafficking agent in order to reveal them and protect the target group from the clutches of exploitation. It networked with other non-government organizations, government organizations, policy makers, high-end information sources and police to facilitate rescue, rehabilitation and repatriation.
Impact and changes – NDWM initiated the participation of the villages to bring about resolutions toward anti-trafficking. We have been working with village level committees, Panchayats and local government and vigilant villagers to prevent uninformed migration and trafficking of the village youth, women, girls and children.
Future plans – NDWM plans to conduct sensitization programmes on issues of trafficking in villages by highlighting the existence of Child Rights Protection Act, telling rescue stories and explaining the rehabilitation process.