Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Northern India – Aug. 15-16, 2010
In August, we visited seven villages in Uttar Pradesh, India, including our very own Freedom School village. We were guided by Bhanuja Sharan, the Director of our incredibly impressive partner agency MSEMVS. Many of the men, women and children in these villages have been rescued by MSEMVS from bonded labor slavery, in agriculture, brick kilns, stone quarries and carpet looms. Some of the villages we are seeing today were rescued last year, others as long as seven years ago, and the difference is dramatic! In the first village, Bhanuja explains that the process has only been underway for 18 months. The families here are all of the Dalit (untouchable) caste and many have been enslaved to powerful people (landowners, slaveholders, higher caste members) for the past three generations to pay off small debts incurred by their parents or even grandparents.
Three Generations, Now Freeno comment