Children from Bengal Rescued as ‘Bonded Labourers’ Return to Chennai to Resume Same Work After Turning 18

Shiv Sahay Singh - The Hindu

A boy at Amragachi village in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas will turn 17 on March 23, 2024. The teenager, however, is eagerly waiting for his next birthday in the year 2025, when he will turn 18 years old.

Rescued as a ‘bonded labourer’ from Chennai in February 2023, the boy often has a conversation with his father about his future. His father, a farmer with less than a bigha land, consoles him. “You may go to work when you turn adult,” the father tells the Class X student outside their small hutment that requires an urgent repair. 

The boy was rescued, with 21 other children, most of them from North 24 Parganas district. The release certificate of the teenager mentions Section 12 of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition Act) 1978 and the address of rescue is mentioned as from NSC Bose Road, Parry’s, Chennai. The Act empowers district administrations to eradicate this practice within their jurisdictions and release certificate has a stamp of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate.