On International Women’s Day 2020, we honour the story of Papamma.
In a conversation with RJ Vijaya, Papamma reveals that she was a bonded labourer in one of the brick kilns located at Kanakapura, Ramanagara. “I was rescued on 13th August 2014 by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), CID, and the District Administration.”
Before the rescue, Papamma had been confined at the brick kiln for over four years and was denied every basic human right that a citizen can claim, as stated by the Indian Constitution. In this case, the Ramanagara Sessions Court sentenced the kiln owner to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a Rs. 16,000 fine under IPC 370 (Trafficking of Persons) and the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976, on 10th March 2017.
Today, Papamma is a leader of Udayonmukha, an association formed by bonded labour survivors. Udayonmukha is a forum that empowers released bonded labourers to be leaders who can help eradicate bonded labour. The collective also helps the survivors receive their rehabilitation benefits from the Government.
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