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Ajita Banerjie

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Ajita Banerjie got her Master’s degree in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. As a part of her field project, she worked with the Kathkari Tribe in Maharashtra on issues of bonded labour at brick kilns and the effect of migration on health and education. For her final year dissertation, she studied the Hijra community in Mumbai and their negotiation with heteronormative spaces and structures in a gendered society. She was also an intern with Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, where she researched on gender-based violence on the LGBTQI community and sex workers in Bangalore.

Policy Report No18resized
Modern Day Slavery: A Study of Tribals and Dalits as Bonded Labour in Brick Kilns

Scholars have analysed bonded labour in South Asia as a result of poverty, social exclusion, and the failure of state mechanism to act against the practice and its underlying causes. The chronically poor, predominantly drawn from the Scheduled Castes and minority groups are often those who are enslaved under this oppressive system.The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy’s latest Report examines the conditions of migrant labour from rural areas of four States – Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar, and analyses the causes behind the persistence of bonded labour even 40 years after it was abolished. Based on interviews of labourers, brick kiln owners, civil society members, lawyers and government officials it brings out the issues of unorganised labour in India, and how industries disregard labour protection and welfare. The action taken by the state to end the labour bondage is ineffective, while the efforts of non-government organisations have been more on release than rehabilitation. The Report, authored by Ajita Banerjie suggests the manner in which bonded labour should be contextualised in the discussion to improve labour standards. [PDF 1.25 MB] Related Articles : 1. Ebenezer, R. 2020 . Ensuring Zero Tolerance for all Forms of Forced Labour , The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, July 14. []. 2. Chanda, R and Ghosh, S. 2015 . Amendments to the Child Labour Act: A Positive or Regressive Step? , The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, June 23. []. 3. Rajendran, S. 2015 . Retrogressive Changes to Child Labour Act Should Be Withdrawn: Nina P. Nayak , The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, May 27. [].