The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 and the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer-2016 provides for economic and social rehabilitation to the rescued Bonded Labourers by amplifying their skill and capacity building. The subject of rehabilitation of Bonded Labour is transferred from Adi Dravida and Tribal Welfare Department to Labour Department from 01.04.2017.
A State Action Plan for Rescue, Release and Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour has been formulated by the State vide G.O. (Ms). No. 163, Labour and Employment (U1) Department, dated.21.09.2017.
The Commissioner of Labour has been appointed as State Level Officer for Bonded Labour vide G.O. (Ms). No.51, Labour and Employment (U1) Department, dated. 25.04.2018. At District level, the Assistant Commissioners of Labour (Enforcement) have been appointed as Nodal Officers for the implementation of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 and the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer, 2016 for their respective administrative jurisdiction.
A Standard Operating Procedure for Identification, Release, Rescue and Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour has been issued vide G.O. (Ms). No. 35, Labour and Employment (U1) Department, date.08.03.2019, in order to provide guidelines to various stakeholders for robust implementation of the Act and the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer- 2016.
Government have issued amendments to the Standard Operating Procedure vide G.O. (Ms) No.138 Labour Welfare and Skill Development (U1) Department, dated:28.09.2021 .
As per the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour- 2016, a sum of Rs.20,000/- is paid as immediate assistance to the rescued Bonded Labourers. As per the revamped Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer-2021, immediate assistance has been enhanced from Rs.20,000/- to Rs.30,000/- with effect from 27.01.2022.
Final Financial assistance is provided for rehabilitation of a rescued bonded labourers at the rate of Rs.1.00 lakh for adult Male beneficiary, Rs.2.00 lakh for special category beneficiaries such as children and women, and Rs.3 lakh in cases of bonded labour involving extreme cases of deprivation or marginalization such as trans-genders, or women or children and differently abled persons rescued from sexual exploitation. The final financial assistance will be disbursed on the proof of bondage in the court.
The rescued bonded labourers are rehabilitated with immediate financial assistance of Rs.30,000/-, Ration Card, Community Certificate, employment, education, skill training, enrollment in SHG and medical needs. Further, the rescued bonded labourers are being enrolled in the relevant Unorganized Workers Welfare Boards so as to enable them to avail the benefits eligible to them under the respective schemes.
Government have sanctioned a sum of Rs.121 lakh (Rupees One Hundred and Twenty One lakh only) vide G.O. (Ms). No.108, Labour and Employment (U1) Department, dated. 09.07.2019 for creation of Permanent Corpus Fund for rehabilitation of bonded labour in all the Districts as per their needs.
Union Government and Government of Tamil Nadu have sanctioned a sum of Rs.24.75 lakh each totally to Rs.49.50 lakh for conducting Survey in 11 Bonded Labour prone Districts Viz. Chennai, Erode, Kancheepuram, Namakkal, Pudhukottai. Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Thiruvallur, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Vellore. Survey process has been completed in the above Districts. As per the Survey report, 2137 labourers are working as bonded labourers in various occupations like Brick kiln, Rice Mill, Goat/Duck herding, Agriculture, Lumbering and Wood cutting, Regular farming, Constructions, Plantations, Sugar cane farm, Animal Husbandry, Flower Gardens, Textile Industries, Silver making unit, Water Plant, Panipoori Stalls, Hotels, Fisheries, Textiles, Domestic Workers and Bakeries / Tea stalls.
Government have Re-Constituted the High Level Monitoring Committee headed by the Chief Secretary to Government for implementation of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 and a meeting was held on 25.07.2022 before the Chief Secretary to Government.
District Vigilance Committees and Sub Divisional Committees have been constituted in all Districts and functional.
The Labour Department has conducted zonal level workshop at Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore during July and August 2019 and a State Level Consultation Workshop on 21.08.2019 at Chennai presided by the Hon'ble Minister of Labour and the Principal Secretary to Government, Labour and Employment Department for sensitizing the Line Departments on the issue of Bonded Labour and to map out their roles and responsibilities in combating Bonded Labour System and the provisions under the law. The Anna Institute of Management in coordination with the Labour Department also conducted Training Programmes from 06.01.2020 to 09.01.2020 for Assistant Commissioners of Labour (Enforcement) of Labour Department and RDO’s of Revenue Department for effective implementation of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.
A regional level training has been conducted at Madurai on 28.12.2020 to create awareness to the line departments regarding abolition of Bonded Labour System. The Officials from Revenue, Police, Social Defence, DISH, Rural Development, District Legal Service Authority and District Child Welfare Committee have participated in the above training.
The Government have ordered to observe Bonded Labour System Abolition Day on 9 th February of every year vide G.O.(1D).No.448, Labour and Employment (U1) Department dated:23.09.2020 to create awareness among the Public, for abolition of Bonded Labour System and to make Tamil Nadu Bonded Labour Free State.
Bonded Labour System Abolition Day was observed on 09.02.2022 throughout the State and pledge was taken in all Government offices.
State Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs.3.80 lakh for creation of Awareness Generation among the Public thorough out the State. The Awareness programmes like distribution of bit notices, banners, Signature campaign, pasting of Stickers with awareness slogans in various industries, buses and autos, conducting Street play was also undertaken.
Multi lingual Toll Free Helpline Number 1800 4252 650 has been established to register complaints on Bonded Labour. Immediate Financial Assistance provided to the released Bonded Labourers
During the period from 01.04.2017 to 31.07.2022, a sum of Rs.281.23 Lakh was paid as Immediate Financial Assistance to 1371 rescued Bonded Labourers.
Providing Non - Cash Assistance in Tiruvannamalai District
To avoid re-bondage providing livelihood opportunity by utilizing the resource of various welfare schemes of the Government is encouraged.
During the year 2018-19, in Tiruvannamalai District, land has been allotted exclusively for rescued Bonded Labourers and 100 houses have been built. They were provided Milch Cows and Co-operative Milk Society has been formed and the Society has been linked with Aavin for the procurement of the milk. Around 5 acres of land has been provided for growing fodder also.
Special Initiate by Tiruvallur District administration for rescued Bonded Labourers Brick kiln was setup at veeraghanallur,Tiruttani.