shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt shaper twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate Group-35 star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

Five Boys Rescued from Goat-Grazing

Five boys who were isolated as goat shepherds for years are now resting in safety, thanks to a rescue operation led by local officials and an IJM partner in southern India.

These boys had been forced to graze 650 goats and 12 cows across hundreds of kilometres of rural land under the control of a slave owner who barely let them eat or rest.

IJM’s grassroots partner Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) discovered the case and monitored the boys for several weeks to confirm the truth. On April 8, FSD staff brought the case to local authorities—also trained by IJM—who moved the operation forward.

When the rescue team arrived, the boys had already moved 3 kilometres from where they were last spotted. Officials met up with them, interviewed them about their experience, and then brought them to safety at a government office.

The boys are between 12 and 23 years old, but many shared that they had begun tending goats when they were only 5 or 6. For years, they had eaten only one small meal each day and often slept outside on simple grass mats at night.

“In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of young boys being used in goat grazing,” explains IJM’s Preeti Daniel. “The nature of the job leads them to move from place to place while grazing the flock, and they end up living far from their homes for years.”

Officials learned how the wealthy livestock owner had preyed on the boys’ impoverished families by offering them loans of 10,000 to 15,000 rupees (about $150–200) in exchange for their sons’ labour. He then used these debts and charged false interest to keep the boys trapped.

Police immediately arrested the owner and placed him in custody. He has been charged under India’s anti-slavery, anti-trafficking and child protection laws.

In safety, the boys have received food and medical care, and also got release certificates to break their bonds to the slave owners and guarantee them protection under the law. FSD staff and local officials will help them reconnect with their families and begin recovering lost time in freedom.

Become a Freedom Partner Today

You might also be interested in…

see more

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay connected to the work! Sign up to get updates straight to your inbox.
You Can Send Rescue Today.

Give a gift today and be a last minute responder for a child in need of rescue or a social worker holding the hands of a now-free mother.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support of $31 or more will send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and see their abusers in court – no matter how long justice takes.

Login

Donor Portal

Review your giving, tax statements and contact info via the IJM Donor Portal.

please sign in
Email Sign Up
Get updates from IJM on stories from the field, events in your area and opportunities to get involved.
sign up

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

Media Contact

More Information

Petra Kooman
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
[email protected]
519.679.5030 x.229

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at [email protected]