18 September, 2020

An Inhuman Bondage, Unweaved

Villagers of Ghoraval no longer let their kids slog their childhood away making carpets

An Inhuman Bondage, Unweaved
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
As places go, it seems an unlikely candidate to be playing host to new ideas. Ghoraval is a small province in Sonebhadra district, the south-eastern outback of UP, with villages scattered like little pockets across an unchanging landscape. There is an abundance of crops, greenery and poverty. The people have small needs and even smaller earnings. Struggling with little or no land to call their own, they have remained as their fathers and forefathers were—poor and exploited.

In this realm of pessimism, and against all odds, a little group called the Children Welfare Society (CWS) began the epical fight to free children from bonded labour in the carpet industry. Rajesh Choubey, CWS project coordinator, talks about the early ’90s when the carpet industry started attracting children from Ghoraval. At the time, children from the Dalit community did not go to school. And the carpets needed to have a fine weave. The loom owners therefore preferred to employ (Dalit) children between the ages of 7 to 14 as they had slim fingers, were obedient and could be made to work longer for...

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