Target: President Shri Pranab Mukherjee
Goal: Enhance efforts to end slavery in India.
Recently in Bahar, one of the poorer regions in northern India, the nongovernmental organization International Justice Mission (IJM) rescued almost 90 people from lives of slavery in a brick factory. These families, including about 40 children, were working 18-hour days, and lived on the property in tiny brick huts just four feet wide. They were abused and threatened by the owner of the factory, forced to work tirelessly in deplorable conditions, and given a pittance to purchase food. The huts which served as their homes were too small to even stand up inside, and smelled of the pigs who shared the lodging.
India has the largest concentration of poor people in the world, according to the World Bank. Debt bondage describes the relationship where victims are offered work in exchange for a loan, but the terms are unknown and undefined, causing individuals and sometimes their families to be tricked into living and working in hellish factories like the one in Bahar. This slavery is the most common form of slavery in the world today, according to Kevin Bales, director of Free the Slaves. Victims of debt bondage are housed in inadequate dwellings, given only enough food to stay living, and are usually subject to intense violence.
These atrocities persist because there has not been enough pressure condemning slavery. President Shri Pranab Mukherjee must continue to work towards ending slavery in India — to bring freedom to forgotten slaves.
Dear President Shri Pranab Mukherjee,
Though there have been recent victories in freeing slaves in your country, slavery is still rampant in cities and rural villages. There is no excuse for allowing slavery to flourish. Please continue to collaborate with NGOs to uncover slavery and release slaves from deplorable conditions. In the past, your collaboration with anti-human trafficking organization International Justice Mission has brought freedom to the enslaved in your country. However, there are too many victims starving and toiling in slavery.
There is still much to be done to eradicate the abomination of slavery in India, and I urge you to continue to take action for these victims. With your history in the fight for freedom and unlawful detention, I’m sure you can see the need to release and protect victims of slavery.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: QIFD via Flickr