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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Modern-Day slavery in Punjab: Villagers enslaved and tortured by dairy farmers

“Modern-Day slavery in Punjab: Villagers enslaved and tortured by dairy farmers”, The Quint, February 18, 2024:

Eh ta meri bebe hai,” said Dalbir Singh, (she is my mother) looking at his distraught mother. He then identified his sister. One after the other, he called out the names of familiar faces among the villagers who came with his family. The small crowd cheered every time he joined names to faces correctly — a task for his unstable mind.

“Chalo chaliye ghare. Mainu ta ithe koi chhad gya,” (Let us go home. Someone had left me here), he said in Punjabi. Dalbir, a Dalit from Haryana’s Fatehabad, had been missing for 10 years. In August 2021, he was found living a slave’s life 250 km away in a farm in Punjab’s Fazilka.

Pal Khroud, an anti-slavery activist and farmer in Punjab who led the search, said he was tipped off that Dalbir was being kept as a slave, allegedly by a farmer called Gurcharan Singh…..”

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