The system of debt bondage in India is an outcome of certain categories of indebtedness, which have been prevailing for a long time involving certain economically, exploited helpless and weaker sections of society. This system originated from the uneven social structure characterized by feudal and semi feudal conditions. Bonded labourers constitute perhaps the weakest section of rural poor. The genesis of rural poverty in India dates back to the later half of the 18th century when the erstwhile colonial rulers introduced the Zamindary system. Subsequently the anti farmers policies of the colonial government had also contributed towards the indebtedness of a large number of small and medium farmers and eventually pushing them into the category of landless labourers. The problem of bonded labour closely linked to the broader socio economic problems of surplus labour, unemployment, under employment, inequitable distribution of land and assets, low wages, distress migration, social customs etc. With the phenomenon of small and marginal farmers and rural artisans steadily becoming landless labourers generate environment which can perpetuate the system of bonded labour.
Bonded Labour – Defined
When a person provides labour of service to another for remuneration which is lees than the minimum wage, the labour or service provided by him clearly falls within the scope and ambit of the words “forced labour”.
Bonded Labour System:
Bonded labour system means the system of forced or partly forced labour under which a debtor enters or has or is presumed to have entered into an agreement with the creditor to the effect that he would – 1. Render, by himself or through any member of his family or any person dependent on him labour or service to the creditor for a specified period or for any unspecified period either with wages or nominal wages. 2. For the freedom of employment or other means of livelihood for a specified period or for unspecified period. 3. Forfeit the...
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