Arul and Pachayamma's life of slavery began when they were just children in India. Thinking freedom was unattainable, they married in slavery and inherited their families’ debts. They broke rocks in life-threatening conditions, always under the threat of violence from the owner. Their lives were defined by a constant state of fear.
In February 2012, supporters sent IJM Chennai and local government officials to investigate the quarry. Together, they rescued Arul, Pachayamma and 10 other families held in slavery there. IJM helped officials bring the families to safety. They ensured they received the urgent medical care they needed and secured legal release certificates to break the false debts that kept them in bondage.
Arul and Pachayamma boldly testified against their captor and dedicated their lives to helping others trapped in slavery. They were unanimously elected leaders of their local Released Bonded Laborers Association, a survivor-led advocacy forum on the issue of modern slavery. At the end of 2018, Pachayamma and the RBLA led nine operations and rescued more than 100 people.
Right now, thousands of people are forced to work against their will for little or no money. One in four victims of forced labor slavery is a child. All of them need to be delivered from this life of violence and fear. HP Pres partners with IJM Dominican Republic. Find out more about our partnership at hppres.org/partners.