Putting an end to exploitation: The Halpati women who don’t want financial help from anybody – Gujarat

Of Spice & Spirit: 24-YO Quits Cushy Job to Double Income of Gujarat Tribe!

Jovita Aranha, The Better India, 3 July 2018

Turn the pages of history, and it will narrate the plight of the Halpatis of Gujarat, one of the most backward tribal communities. For the longest time, they have struggled to break away from a shell that dictates everything they are –landless farmhands under exploitative zamindars. | Read the full report and view more photos here >>

The year is 2018. It is a primary school in the Bardoli taluka of Gujarat. A few parents walk up to the class teacher and say, “Stop teaching these Halpatis. If they get educated, who will toil in our fields?”

No, this is not an imaginary scenario. This is but a glimpse into the oppression faced by the Halpati scheduled tribe at the hands of upper-caste villagers. […]

Soon, two women, 23-year-old Sonamben Halpati, and 27-year-old Sobhanaben Halpati stepped up to become lead entrepreneurs. “They were firm in their resolve that they didn’t want financial help from anybody. And thus, with a small team of five other women as part-time workers and an existing machine, the women began their entrepreneurial journey,” shares Saumya.

They had a machine, they had labour, and they would eventually buy the raw materials, but where would they set up their production unit? […]

“They lacked the confidence and knowledge of running a successful venture. My work is only an attempt to make them aware of the power that lies within the palm of their hands.”

Today these Halpati women proudly claim that they will not be limited to being daily wage labourers. They can turn into entrepreneurs. Looking at the success that Tez Masala has amassed in five months, other groups of women have walked up to Saumya. While some want to set up their stitching unit, others want to run an Anganwadi centre.

Who would’ve thought that all it would take was a group of women armed with spices to spark a revolution in a remote tribal village in Gujarat? These women are doing it every day, and how! […]

Source: Of Spice & Spirit: 24-YO Quits Cushy Job to Double Income of Gujarat Tribe!
URL: https://www.thebetterindia.com/148422/spice-saumya-omer-gujarat-tribe/
Date visited: 29- October 2018

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“Modern slavery takes many forms and is known by many names. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, or deception. […] Modern slavery is inextricably linked with global challenges such as climate degradation, gender inequality, COVID-19, and conflict. […] The adverse impacts of climate change magnify other drivers of displacement such as loss of livelihoods, poverty, food insecurity, and a lack of access to water and other resources, pushing people to migrate and exposing these vulnerable populations to modern slavery. […] An estimated 5.4 million children worldwide live in orphanages and other institutions.” – https://www.walkfree.org/global-slavery-index/ (Date accessed: 11 April 2024)

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery. As they transition through childhood, adolescence and adult life, the impacts of discrimination multiply and gender inequality grows.

Tip: check the latest figures and reports published by the Walk Free Foundation >>

Walk Free uses cutting-edge prevalence estimation techniques including nationally-representative surveys in partnership with Gallup, risk-model extrapolation and multiple systems estimation to measure modern slavery globally. We also assess government responses to this issue and vulnerability structures that impact populations around the world >>

Hundreds of millions of people today are highly impoverished and disadvantaged by virtue of ethnic or gender identity. These and other forces render them highly vulnerable to false offers by human traffickers. […] In fact, we still do not know to what extent global supply chains are maintained by slavery and child labor. Because of these and other factors, slavery today is more profitable than ever before, and also more woven into the global economy than ever before.

Source: Siddharth Kara interviewed by Katie Gibsoni: Quick, cheap and vulnerable: Siddharth Kara on the persistence of modern slavery, 12 October 2017, Harvard Kennedy School (Faculty and Research)
Date accessed: 6 May 2023
URL: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/research-insights/policy-topics/human-rights/siddharth-kara-persistence-modern-slavery

Siddharth Kara, Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Harvard Kennedy School and author of three books: “Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia”; “Modern Slavery,” and “Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery” | Read the full interview titled “Quick, cheap and vulnerable: Siddharth Kara on the persistence of modern slavery” >>

“The transformation of the global slave trade from a high-cost, slow-recruitment business to a low-cost, rapid-recruitment one is driving criminal interest in trafficking and slavery, which is why it is permeating every corner of the global economy. […] For the past quarter of a century, the global economy has brought many benefits to the world through greater flows in goods, capital and people. But the poorest of the poor have increasingly become an exploited labour class toiling in murky factories, mines and fields to feed our insatiable appetites. In this way, we are all shareholders in a system of slavery found in numerous global supply chains. We must ask ourselves how much longer we will look the other way while millions toil in slave-like conditions to provide us with the goods and services we consume.” – Siddharth Kara | Read more and watch a video interview with Siddharth Kara published by The Guardian >>

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