• Non-ICIMOD Publication

Bonded labour and trafficking of girl-child among the Kolta: A case study

  • Prasun, K.
  • Kainthola, S.

The present study was conducted to understand the modus operandi of the trafficking trade and the prevalence of the bonded labour system among the Kolta of the Jaunsar-Bawar and Rawain-Jaunpur areas of Uttaraanchal. There is enough documented evidence on bonded labour and the sale of the girl-child from these areas. A commission for the rehabilitation of bonded labourers was established by the Government of India in 1976 which after working for nine years and spending over 55 million rupees declared 14,844 Kolta as having been fully rehabilitated. The findings of the present study, however, contradict this, as considerable evidence of bonded labour and girl-child trafficking was gathered during the study. The present report provides a brief history of intervention along with evidence of bonded labour and trafficking among the Kolta in the year 2002. "The songs of Uttaraakhandi women down the ages have been 'Khuded' songs - sad songs, songs of longing, songs of loneliness, songs that tell of waiting and sadness. How long will it stay like this? She will have to ask herself this question one day. After all, it was she who wove this garland of sadness, now she has to learn to thread into it beautiful songs of hope and joy. She has both the ability and the patience to change the mountains only she doesn't know that carrying their weight is harming them both, her and her mountains. She hasn't realized that one smile from her will make the mountains laugh with joy. But this is also serious business, a test of responsibility which will be successful when she is both soldier and commander of her mountains."

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  • Journal:
    Prasun, K and Kainthola, S., 2002, Bonded labour and trafficking of girl-child among the Kolta: A case study . Celebrating Mountain Women Conference, 1-4 October 2002. Thimpu, Bhutan, and IYM 2002.
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