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2,216 bonded labourers rescued last fiscal in UP: Dattatreya

New Delhi: As many as 2,216 bonded labourers were rescued and rehabilitated in Uttar Pradesh last fiscal, Parliament was informed today.

During 2015-16, 2,216 bonded labourers were released and rehabilitated in Uttar Pradesh, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

According to the statement, no bonded labourers rescued and rehabilitated during the current financial year.

In 2014-15, 853 bonded labourers were rescued and rehabilitated in the Chhattisgarh. Similarly, in 2013-14, 1,800 bonded labourers were released and rehabilitated in Uttar Pradesh while the number of such workers was 150 in Rajasthan and 28 in Odisha.

The Bonded Labour System has been abolished by law throughout the country with effect from October 25, 1975 under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Ordinance which was replaced by the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.

The minister said that instances of prevalence of bonded labour system are noticed now and then even after its abolition.

In order to assist the states to rehabilitate the identified and released bonded labourers, a Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour is in operation since May, 1978.

The government has revamped the scheme with effect from May 17, 2016. The revamped scheme is known as ‘Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer, 2016’.

The revised scheme is a Central Sector Scheme. The State Government is not required to pay any matching contribution for the purpose of cash rehabilitation assistance.

The financial assistance has been increased from Rs 20,000 to one lakh per adult male beneficiary, Rs 2 lakh for child labour & women and Rs 3 lakh to trans-genders, or woman or children rescued from ostensible sexual exploitation. These cash benefit is additional to other land and housing elements etc.

The amount of assistance for survey of bonded labourers is Rs 4.50 lakh per district. The release of rehabilitation assistance has been linked with conviction of the accused.

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