Rescued Across the Country
Posted by Petra Stanton
Posted on November 19, 2015
Several people in this village were offered good jobs in the state of Gujarat in India. They were promised that they would be paid a decent wage and work would be eight hours a day. Since they were from a very poor village and couldn’t find much work nearby, they felt that this would be a good opportunity to help their families. So eight of them signed-up and went with the contractor to work in Gujarat. However when they got there they discovered that they were enslaved. They were forced to work 12-20 hours a day, never paid, and barely given enough food to survive. If they complained or tried to leave, they were beaten severely. Eventually someone from their home village received news of what was happening and alerted the partner organization of Free the Slaves. They traveled to Gujarat and worked with the local police to conduct a successful rescue and prosecute the traffickers.
Since returning home the village has been organizing to protect their rights. All those enslaved in local debt bondage have also been freed and they have ensured that no one else gets trafficked. They’re also working together to develop several businesses so they can be self-employed and have power over their livelihood. Businesses include tailoring, carpet weaving, and creation of incense sticks with the brand name “Freedom is Power” (pictured below).