SMS Help line to Address Violence Against Dalits and Adivasis in India
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Ms. Banarasi, Age-45, who belongs to village- Bakshiwala, tehsil- Budhlada, District- Mansa.
She belongs to boria sikh (Scheduled caste). She was married to Darshan Singh S/o Balvir Singh who is from Bakshi wala. Her husband Darshan Singh was a bonded labourer (Siri). Darshan Singh had been working as a bonded labourer from the age of 11 years. In staring, he worked as cattle tender for seven years and from the age of 18 years he worked as a “Siri”. He worked with four different employers. In 1994 he started to work on daily basis and he went to Mansa city to search the work and he got work at Shiv Shakti Rice Mill in Mansa City. The owner of this mill Bittu was promised them that he will pay him according to minimum wages.
Darshan Singh was also took care the 11 cattle of the owner. The owner suggested Darshan Singh to bring his wife to the work. So both the wife and husband started work at the rice mill. They always went to the work along with his 8 years old son named Malkit Singh. Then the employer said them that can stay at the work place.
Since Banarasi and his husband was in the scarcity of the residential land, as her husband have five other brothers. They accepted the proposal of the employer and started staying at the work place. Their children were also born at the rice mill. Now whole family members were engaged in the work of the employer. The employer never gave them any information regarding their wages. Whenever they demand their wages from the employer he gave them only Rs.1000/- for their food and makes excuse that he will gave them their whole earned money after some time. In the family there were (1) Banarasi (2) Darshan Singh (husband of Banarasi) (3) Malkit Singh(Son) (4) Sukhvir Kaur (Daughter) (5) Shinder Kaur (Daughter)(6) Neelam Kaur (Daughter in law) (7) Kala Singh (son) (8) Pooja (Granddaughter) and (9) Deepak (Grandson). Banarasi’s children and her granddaughter and grandson were also born at the rice mill. When Banarasi desired to educate them then the employer do not allow her children and grand children to go to school. Both of her daughters Shinder Kaur and Sukhvir Kaur were also got married at the rice mill.
When her daughter’s marriage was held (one year back) the employer arrange the tea and food about 100 persons and after the marriage he informed the family that he will obtain the money of the marriage from them. In this way whenever the family demand their wages the employer beaten them and threaten them that he will not pay them any money because he had already spent money on the marriage of their girls. Now ,the whole family members were in bondage from the last 19 years. They were not allowed to go to their native village. Banarasi came into the contact of our field animator Mr.Jagsir Singh and narrate her whole incident and story to him and Mr. Jagsir Singh assured her that he will definitely help them for their release.
On 22nd June 2013, Mr. Jagsir Singh managed to bring Banarasi out of the rice mill. Then Mr. Jagsir Singh has contacted to Mr. Jai Singh (Project Director) and explained the whole matter. As Mr. Jai Singh was in a meeting at New Delhi he suggested appearing before District Magistrate Mansa along with Banarasi. From the head office of VSJ Ms. Saroj Rani (Project Coordinator) talk to Banarasi on phone and get all the details and shared all the details with Mr. Jai Singh on phone and make a complaint to the District Magistrate on behalf Banarasi and send it to Mr. Jagsir Singh through email. Mr. Jagsir Singh took the complaint and appears before the district Magistrate, Mansa along with Banarasi and her daughter in law. The District Magistrate, Mansa issued orders to the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Mansa to rescue the family members of the Banarasi. Mr. Rakesh Kumar, the SDM, Mansa went to the rice mill along with Mr. Harpal Singh, SHO, Police Station- City Mansa. Our animator Mr. Jagsir Singh was also with them. They went to the rice mill and rescued the family from the clutches of the employer. As the family has not any residential place they have took asylum at the Transit Rehabilitation Centre of VSJ. After their release our Field Animator Mr. Jagsir Singh and Mr. Vijaypaul from Rajpura went to the office of SDM, Mansa to get the release certificate for the released persons. After a discussion the SDM agreed to give release certificate only for three persons of the family. Their names are Malkit Singh, Darshan Singh and Kala Singh. Now the family is in the Transit Rehabilitation Centre of VSJ.
Sunita Kaur w/o Baldev Singh Village- Buh Tehsil- Patti District- Tarn Taran. She belonges to Majhabi Sikh” caste which is declared a scheduled caste by the Government of Punjab.
Sunita Kaur, aged about 25 years, was born in Chattisgarh. Her father Shri Sita Ram was a Patwari and her mother Smt. Ram Bhatti was a teacher. Her parents’ home where she was born is located in village Singhanpur of Chhattisgarh State and is presently in the possession of Sunita’s aunt and uncle. It is Sunita’s claim that her parents were murdered by her aunt and uncle by lacing their food with poison. Sunita was around 1 or 2 years old at the time of her parents’ demise. The reason for the murder, as narrated by her other relatives, was to take over the property of her parents. Smt Sunita Kaur states that her aunt and uncle ill treated her throughout her life. Despite both her parents being educated, her aunt and uncle never sent to school so that she may never stand on her own feet and remain submissive to them. At the tender age she says that she was thrown into the fire and her private parts were burnt by her aunt and uncle. She was left physically challenged and mentally traumatized at a young age. At the age of 6 years one doctor from the nearby village named as Sukhna brought her to his village. In his house Sunita started work as domestic worker, she worked here for ten years. Then her Uncle and Aunti brought her again to her house. When she was about 16 years old, she was ‘sold’ by her aunt and uncle to one person named Prem for 50,000 rupees. Prem brought her from Chhattisgarh to Punjab, first to Moga, where she was kept in an unknown location for 8 days where she was never given any food or clothing. First day she was raped by three persons and she became unconscious. Then after 8 days Prem Singh called his brother’s wife named Vidiya and she took her to her brother Pappu’s house at Makhu to work as domestic worker and managed to earn some money by doing some daily wage job and returned to Chattisgarh. But she was then forced to return to Punjab as her aunt and uncle turned her out. Then she come back to Makhu in Punjab and here she met with an her known lady and she bring her to village- Harike and in this village she started to work as domestic worker for the employer who was known as Dhillon Singh. Dhillon Singh’s friend was in village- Buh where Baldev Singh was working as bonded labourer.
Dhillon Singh asked Sunita that there is a person who is the “Siri” (bonded labourer) of his friend and if she agree then they can manage the marriage arrangements of their marriage. Then Sunita got married with Baldev Singh and she also started work with the same employer where her husband was working. She came to the office of VSJ with her husband as they were facing problems in the brick kiln and were assaulted by their employer.
A case of bonded labour has been sent to the District Magistrate, Tarn Taran.
Sunita says she wants justice for all the violence and abuse that she has been suffered through out her life.. Also explained that she is the legal heir to her parents’ home in Chhattisgarh which is presently in the possession of her aunt and uncle who have illegally possessed her property. She wants her property restored to her. Sunita Kaur is apparently physically challenged although the exact nature of her handicap needs to be determined though a medical examination. Her speech is slurred and memory faint. Currently Sunita and her husband are working in a school to clean the school and to prepare tea for the teachers. They are living in a school along with their two children. VSJ has sent the complaint to District Magistrate, Tarn Taran for the release and rehabilitation of Sunita and her family members which is still pending.
ON THE DATE OF 27TH MAY 2013, VICTIM AASHA DEVI W/O RAM SINGH , VILLAGE- KHEDKI, TAPPA, PS- HALDAUR, DISTRICT- BIJNAUR WAS WENT TO NATURAL WORK ON 6 PM. ACCUSED GHANSHYAM S/O NATHU SINGH CATCHED HER WRIST AND STATRTING MOLESTATION WITH VICTIM. VICTIM OPPOSED. AFTER THIS INCIDENT VICTIM SAID TO COMPLAINT TO SP. AFTER THIS ACCUSED BEATEN TO VICTIM AND THREATENED TO LIFE.
Mandar Singh S/o Mangal Singh, Age- 55,Village- Kotli Sangar, tehsil & District- Shri Muktsar Sahib He belong to caste “Majhabi Sikh” caste which has been declared as a Scheduled Caste by the State government of Punjab.
Mandar Singh has been working as a “Siri” for the different employers for the last 35 years. Now He has been working as a “Siri”(bonded labourer) for Harjinder Singh @ Gopi S/o Dal Singh, Village- Kotli Sangra, tehsil & District- Shri Muktsar Sahib, Caste- Jatt Sikh for the last 2 years Harjinder Singh @ Gopi had given him advance of Rs. 25000 (Twenty five thousand) at the time of joining the work and in the next year he had given him advance of Rs. 20,000 (Twenty thousand rupees). He has repaid the bonded debt (with the advance amount) of his previous employer Jagnandan Singh S/o Nar Singh from village- Kotli Sangar, tehsil & District- Shri Muktsar Sahib, Caste Jatt Sikh. Jagnandan Singh extracted work from him continuously for two years and after that he imposed the bonded debt of Rs. 45000(Forty five thousand rupees).
Harjinder Singh @ Gopi had fixed his annual wages Rs.45000 (Rupees Forty five thousand) for first year and for the second year Rs.50,000 (Rupees fifty thousand). Harjinder Singh @ Gopi was extracting work from 5:00a.m to 9:00p.m. During the wheat and paddy transplantation season he had to work for him in the day and night. Harjinder Singh had never allowed him for any weekly rest. When he could not work due to sickness or any urgent work then Harjinder Singh @ Gopi charged him an amount of fine as per his own wish and adds this amount in the advance amount and charged an interest on the whole amount according to his own wish. During his two years work period Harjinder Singh @ Gopi never paid his full wages. Whenever he requested him many time to pay his wages then he gave him only Rs.400 or Rs.500 and said that later he will be paid in his wages. Harjinder Singh @ Gopi has taken his thumb impressions on many types of blank papers. He is illiterate, could not be able to understand for what purpose he used these papers. During his work period he inhaled the toxic fumes which was released from the pesticides spray and he fall sick. The employer did not pay him his wages for treatment. He is old person and due to his age. He was not able to work for the employer but the employer is not giving him wages and abusing him on caste basis and imposing an debt of Rs. 44000 (Rupees Forty four thousand) on him.
Harjinder Singh @ Gopi often come to his house and demanded the bonded debt and threaten them that if they will not pay the amount , he will forcibly took work from him or any member of his family and also he handed over them to police or he will take take the possession of his residential house . Harjinder Singh @ Gopi was also threatening them that if he will not repay the bonded debt then he will implicate him in a false case. Harjinder Singh @ Gopi and Mandar Singh are from the same village and they are known to each other’s castes. Harjinder Singh @ Gopi is abusing him on caste basis and never paid his wages, extract force labour and now is imposing an bonded debt. His life and liberty was in danger. The complaint was sent to the DM and after a long enquiry he is physically free but the administration has not given him any release certificate.