PGS was established in 1986 with the aim of developing and empowering marginalised communities in rural areas. Currently, PGS has a specific focus on the intergenerational slavery of stone-breaking communities. Through its Freedom Fund support it will continue to enable groups of workers to achieve sustainable freedom, while also focusing on eradicating agricultural debt bondage slavery in over 100 locations in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
This grant will help Pragati Gramodyog Evam Samaj Kalyan Sansthan (PGS) to achieve sustainable freedom for more than 300 families from the stone breaking community, agriculture labourer community and families of migrant labour in debt-bondage in five blocks of Allahabad district. PGS will ensure access to multiple livelihood opportunities for these families combined with human rights awareness, creating the foundation for sustainable freedom.
Pragati Gramodyog Evam Samaj Kalyan Sansthan (PGS) has a specific focus on the inter-generational slavery of stone-breaking communities, and through its Freedom Fund support it will continue to enable groups of workers to achieve sustained freedom, while also focusing on eradicating agricultural debt bondage slavery in over 100 locations in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
PGS will expand its work through local Legal Aid Centres, a federation of over 250 self-help groups (SHG), as well as Village Education Centres. Each of the SHGs will prepare “Freedom Plans” which include strategic action steps for pursuing freedom.
The groups will be trained to prevent cases of unsafe migration. The groups will save together and link with local banks for government-supported loans on low interest. PGS will help SHG members to renew and apply for new mining site leases so they can earn independent income, running these sites for themselves on a cooperative model.
PGS will provide skill development and micro-enterprise trainings as well as enabling individuals to secure their entitlements according to their Freedom Plans. These will include: residential leases, housing scheme benefits, pensions, health services, subsidised food grains and education. PGS will support mothers within the SHGs to monitor the performance of local schools especially to take action against any discrimination in the classroom. Village Education Centres will help children to succeed in school and will support youth clubs. PGS will train the self-help groups about relevant laws and enable members to carry forward prosecutions and pursue entitlements through the legal aid centres.
With this grant, PGS aims to achieve sustainable freedom for 5,000 families, including bonded labourers, survivors and vulnerable community members. PGS will continue to focus in particular on the intergenerational slavery of stone-breaking communities. Its strategy will empower liberated bonded labourers to form self-help groups, which will be used as a platform for training members on financial management and micro-enterprise development. PGS will also support liberated bonded labourers in on-going management of a farmers’ producer company comprised of 500 former bonded labourers (150 new). The producer company is a community-initiated activity in which agricultural inputs such as seeds, organic pesticides, vermi-compost and agri-implements are provided at a subsidized cost through four agri-service centres. Legal support will also be provided through Legal Aid Centres, including legal literacy trainings for self-help groups and workshops for key stakeholders such as police and the government Anti-Human Trafficking Unit.