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Labour dept to prepare database of steps taken to end bonded labour

Kolkata: The state Labour department has taken up an initiative to prepare a database containing detailed information about the steps taken to abolish bonded labour in the state.
It will also contain information related to the initiatives taken to extend total support to "bonded labours", who were rescued at different times.
According to a senior official at the state labour department, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a letter to the state government urging to organise a workshop in Bengal with a focus on the issues related to "bonded labour".
Though the date of the workshop is yet to be finalised, the state Labour department has initiated its work to prepare a database in this connection and letters have already been sent to all the districts magistrates asking for their respective report containing details of bonded labours to the department. Sources said that NHRC had tentatively suggested the month of May for the workshop. However, it was not possible because of the Panchayat elections.
Concerned officials at the department's headquarter will compile information of all the districts to prepare the database.
As per the letter of NHRC to the department, the workshop on "elimination of bonded labour" will only be for a day and will be attended by senior representatives from NHRC.
All the concerned officials of the state, including those involved in the work of abolishing bonded labour in districts, will be attending the workshop, where different aspects of the issue will be discussed.
The official said there the issue of "bonded labour" is also a prime focus area of the International Labour Organisation.
There is one vigilance committee in every district headed by district magistrate.
Members of the committee carry out the work of abolishing bonded labour.
They maintain a vigil to check the menace and take immediate steps as and when they receive information that someone is treated as a bonded labour. Initiatives including helping them to get proper rehabilitation and at the same time, getting them enrolled to employment schemes and opening of bank accounts are taken, the official said adding that the present state government has taken several steps to benefit people involved in both organised and unorganised sector.

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