They joined thousands of others across 100 other locations in India and 500+ locations in 50 countries, on the world’s largest simultaneous Walk against modern-day slavery.
237 citizens from colleges, government entities and NGOs participated in the Walk for Freedom to raise awareness about human trafficking at Nagpur this morning.
The Walk was declared open by Smt. Aswathi Dorje, Jt. CP, Nagpur, Shri. Sachin Patil, Secretary, District Legal Services Authority and Smt. Lata Deshmukh, Secretary, Matru Sewa. Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Dorje said, “The Youth need to become the ears and eyes of the Police.”
At the start of the Walk participants in Nagpur and across the nation took a pledge to do everything possible within their means to help end trafficking in their lifetimes. They then walked single file holding placards with information and statistics about human trafficking starting from and returning to Lal Bahadur Shastri School, Nagpur via public roads in the vicinity. The Walk was a completely silent Walk in solidarity with voiceless victims of human trafficking.
This was Nagpur’s first year participating in the Walk for Freedom, which was led by Yuva Rural in partnership with D. N. C College, Nagpur, Nikalas Mahila Mahavidyalay, Nagpur, Purushottam Thote College of Social Work, Nagpur, Annasaheb Gendewar College, Nagpur, Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work, Nagpur, Ramkrishna Wagh College, Nagpur, L.A.D College, Nagpur and Y. C. C. E. College, Nagpur.
49.6 million people are caught in various forms of modern-day slavery globally, including exploitation for sex, labour, organs, baby selling, forced marriages and domestic servitude, reports the International Labour Organisation (2022). This means that 1 in every 150 people globally are enslaved. Here in India, 8 children were trafficked every day in 2021 according to the Crime in India Report, National Crime Records Bureau (2021). In Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district, 11 daily-wage labourers were held captive, beaten, and exploited to work 12 hours per day – all without any compensation, as recently as June 2023. They were initially contracted to dig wells but subsequently trapped in this bonded labour. In addition, they were given only one meal a day, drugged and chained so that they couldn’t escape. They were rescued by the intervention of police authorities. (BBC, Deccan Herald)
It is in this context that the Walk for Freedom was hosted in Nagpur, Maharashtra.