Bonded Labor in a Sweet Shop

Bala was employed as a daily wage worker in a Kerela factory, but when the pandemic hit, the company shut down and he lost his job. When he returned home to his family, there was no income and no food.

So Bala’s 12-year-old son, Chetan, got a job 34 miles from home working at a sweet shop. Since he lived and worked in the shop, he put in long days from 7 am to 8 pm. His monthly wage for these grueling hours was just $36.

When the Justice Hub team came to the area, they found Chetan and four other children in need of rescue and advocacy. Working with the labor department, the team rescued all five of them and took them to a children’s home. Chetan was reunited with his family, the team applied for government benefits for him, and he was admitted to the government middle school. But when it was determined that the education provided by that school was of very low quality, the team helped Chetan enroll in the Harijan Middle School instead. He is now living at his new school and excelling academically. Chetan is very happy and grateful for his new life, thanks to EHA’s Justice Hub.