Orator of the Year
Human beings are not property. Let us double our efforts so that the words of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — ‘no one shall be held in
slavery or servitude’ — ring true.’
India, located in theMiddleEast ofAsia, has the largest concentration
of slavery in all its forms. And while it is estimated that around 30
million humans are in slavery world-wide, a near 15 million of those
are currently serving in India. That’s half of the world’s slaves.
Trafficked into brothels, manual labour and debt bondage, Indian
slaves live an appalling life. And if the idea of being forced into
slavery isn’t harsh enough, some are born into it. Slavery is the only
life they know. I’m not talking about the casual house chores like the
unpacking of the dishwashe
r’, that mum makes you to do every
night. I mean full blown 12-24 hour hard labour with little to no pay.
The dishes don’t sound so unappealing now.
Not only do those in slavery suffer excruciating hours, but many
undergo verbal abuse such as threats and insults, poor living
conditions, lack of food and even physical and sexual abuse. To some
extent, it is difficult to explain the life of a slave without actually
experiencing it. But as I tell the story of 13 year old Rambho from
Ashram, India, I will attempt to help you understand the life of an
Rambho’s single mother, who was barely making it by money-
wise, was seduced into an offer with a loom owner, who promised
that her son would have schooling, a home and money to send back
home if he came to work in his factory. Upon his arrival, Rambho
was taught how to work the machines, and was already weaving rugs
from that very day. With even younger slaves beside him, Rambho
slept on makeshift, uncomfortable beds. He awoke at 4am and
worked through till 11pm, fed only two small, unappealing meals.
The promises made by the loom owner were a hoax, as there was no
education provided for Rambho, and the money sent back home
was meagre. The work the young boy received was demanding and if
he complained, the loom owner would beat himwith a stick, or force
his fingers into boiling oil.
After a gruelling year, by chance, the police discovered the loom
and all its slavery, and Rambho was returned to his family. In an