Rescue and rehabilitation:
In 1992, the network was instrumental in the rescue of about 95 members of Sahariya tribe of Madhya Pradesh. The network supported the local administration in undertaking rescue operation along with involvement of police, press, NGOs etc. These included men, women and children. The families were working under very exploitative conditions in stone mining. Many of those rescued were rehabilitated in Banskhedi village of Shivpuri district.
(Discussed further in the success story section).
In order to achieve its objective of eliminating bonded labour, including child labour, and address the related issues of education, minimum wages and food security, the network has the following approach:
1) Rescue and Rehabilitation (direct intervention and through courts)
Rescue and Rehabilitation of bonded laborers/child laborers: The main activity of the network is to identify bonded labor in various sectors and ensure their release and rehabilitation. It does this either through direct intervention or through courts.
Since its inception, BMM has liberated over 1.76 lakh bonded labourers, including almost 26,000 child labourers in different labour situations and has made supported their rehabilitation. From the carpet Industry alone, nearly 1000 children have been rescued and restored to their parents. BMM also monitors the rehabilitation of those rescued.
Shivpuri and Gunna district of Madhya Pradesh have seen a lot of work of the network, involving identification, rescue and rehabilitation of families engaged in bonded labour, including children.
Presently, most of the ongoing work in these districts is voluntary and self-sustained. For instance, in Gunna district, a committee comprising a doctor, journalist, teacher, and health worker is supporting the initiatives of the network on a voluntary basis.
Advocacy: Other than bonded labor and child labor, it undertakes advocacy in related areas such as Right to Education (RTE), vocational training, minimum wages, and food security are some of the main areas of advocacy. Policy makers are seen both as collaborators/partners for undertaking initiatives and when issues are to be raised before them and their attention and support is to be garnered. Collaborating with other stakeholders and advocacy bodies/platforms such as National Commission for Rights of Children, Human Rights Commission, judiciary, Planning Commission and media is considered vital for raising the profile of the issue and creating mass awareness.
The key process involved in the work of the network are:
- Organizing regional and national seminar on bonded labor and child labor.
- Capacity building and training of various stakeholders
- Staging demonstrations/dharnas, rallies, camps, marches etc. as a technique to put pressure on the system for meeting the demands of the network and for bringing about a change
- Setting up non-formal education centers for child labor
- Providing vocational training courses
- Awareness generation campaigns