Sunday, October 19, 2014

151 BALANGIR BONDED LABOUR PLANS NOT EXECUTED SINCE 2011 Monday, 20 October 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

151 BALANGIR BONDED LABOUR PLANS NOT EXECUTED SINCE 2011
Monday, 20 October 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Survey also not undertaken due to fund crunch
Even as the State Government claims to be taking adequate steps to ameliorate the condition of migrant and bonded labourers, the performance of the Panchyati Raj department is poor in this regard.
As per the Bonded Labour System (Abolitions) Act1976, a person who is released as bonded labourer is given a release certificate and immediate assistance of `1,000. He is given another `19,000 for his livelihood assistance. The block authorities prepare a livelihood assistance plan for him and send it to the DRDA which is forwarded to the Panchyati Raj department for release of money.
According to reports, livelihood plans of bonded labourers sent by Balangir district administration for release of the financial assistance have been gathering dust since 2011 in the Panchyati Raj department in Bhubneshwar. “We have sent livelihood plans of 151 bonded labourers of Balangir district since 2011 and they have been lying there,” said an official here.
Not that the proposals of bonded labourers are neglected at the State-level only. In the block level also they undergo the same fate. A total of 195 proposals of bonded labourers are lying with the BDOs for months. The BDOs have not submitted the livelihood plans to the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), pointed out an official.
According to sources, the number of livelihood plans /proposals of bonded labourers blocked at the BDO level are Bongomunda(11), Tureikela(6), Belpada(56), Khaprakhol(14), Muribahal(28), Balangir (37), Loisingha(14), Saintala (4)  and Patnagarh(23).
Moreover, paucity of funds has affected the survey of bonded labourer work in the district. Once a single bonded labourer is found in a district, a detailed survey should be undertaken to detect them further. A district is allotted `2 lakh for the survey. In a letter to the Chief Minister on August 26 last, Balangir MP Kalikesh Singh Deo sought to know about the status of bonded labourers in Odisha and the survey undertaken by the State Government to identify them.
“We have sent our proposal to carry out a survey of bonded labourers in Balangir district. But due to non-sanctioning of funds by the Government, we have not started the survey,” disclosed an official here.
A total of 215 bonded labourers were given financial assistance in Balangir district in 2011, informed the official further. The labourers released under Bonded Labour (Systems) Abolition Act 1976 should be given prompt assistance and their livelihood plans should receive top priority. At the same time, the released bonded labourer should be linked with other social security schemes of Government. If possible the amount of assistance should be hiked to `40,000 from the present `20,000, said an activist here.
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