Maneka Gandhi trashes report on slavery by human rights’ organisation | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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Maneka Gandhi trashes report on slavery by human rights’ organisation

Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday trashed a human rights’ organisation (NGO) report that 18 million people in India live as modern-day slaves.

punjab Updated: Jun 01, 2016 13:00 IST
Vishal Rambani
Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi handing over a loan cheque to an applicant in Patiala on Tuesday.
Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi handing over a loan cheque to an applicant in Patiala on Tuesday.(Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday trashed a human rights’ organisation (NGO) report that 18 million people in India live as modern-day slaves.

This is second report of an organisation based in the West which has been rejected by the Union government. Earlier, the Union ministry of environment and forests and climate change had trashed the World Health Organisation (WHO) report on pollution.

The latest report on the Global Slavery Index by Australia-based human rights’ organisation Walk Free Foundation highlighted that India was home to the world’s largest population of bonded labour, sex workers and child soldiers.

“I saw the report as NGO came to show it to me before its release. I disagreed with the findings as it says all labourers in Jharkhand are slaves, while there is no case in Rajasthan. Is it possible?” she questioned, adding that every domestic worker had been termed salve by the NGO.

When asked if the foreign organisations were trying to tarnish the country’s image, Maneka said: “I don’t know if they are doing it deliberately. They don’t know how to analyse slavery. The NGO has termed every midwife, domestic help and servants modern-day slaves. It’s wrong”.

“The NGO says that banks can’t recover loan amount from the son if the father, who had taken the loan, is dead. Is it a case of slavery? I reject the report,” added the minister.

Regardless of the NGO report, she said, the ministry had prepared a draft of the anti-trafficking bill. “It’s a draft bill and I will take it to Parliament when all loopholes are plugged,” added Maneka.

She said the aim of the bill was to decriminalise the role of the victim as in the present system, the accused and victim are treated same as per the law.

Replying to a query on reports of closure of anganwadis, the minister said there was no such proposal.

“Rather, we have provided more benefits to anganwadi workers such as promotion after 10 years of service and uniform. The state governments have been instructed not to misuse anganwadi workers for other works,” she added.