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Arul and Pachayamma Were Forced to Work in a Dangerous Quarry

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Arul and Pachayamma Were Forced to Work in a Dangerous Quarry

Arul and Pachayamma's life of slavery began when they were just children. 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. They lived in a constant state of fear.

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very time Arul asked for permission to do anything for himself or his family, the owner threatened him: “You cannot go anywhere! Even if you die, you must only be with me and work for me. If you go anywhere, I’ll come searching for you.”

So, Arul and Pachayamma continued working their 12-hour days, sometimes even laying dynamite to break up larger boulders in the quarry. They were exhausted all the time. Eventually, they began to lose hope.

Your gifts matter. You make it possible for us to find and liberate people who are forced to work in these conditions.


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In February 2012, supporters sent IJM Chennai and local government officials to investigate the quarry. Together, they rescued Arul, Pachayamma and 10 other families enslaved 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. These immediate needs for survivors can only be fulfilled when supporters like you show up.

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An IJM staff member named Kural remembers, “Arul and Pachayamma were standing among the 30 labourers and (were) so scared, but still their feeble voices testified that they were subjected to violence and they wanted to be rescued.”

Right now, thousands of people are forced to work against their will for little or no money. One in four victims of forced labour slavery is a child. All of them need to be delivered from this life of violence and fear.

Your generosity will make it possible for us to rescue people like Arul and Pachayamma. You are offering hope to the millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world.

Will you give today and help bring freedom to more people like Arul and Pachayamma?

They spent years breaking rocks as slaves. Today, thanks to you, Arul and Pachayamma are rescuing others and bringing them into freedom.

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They were unanimously elected leaders of their local Released Bonded Laborers Association (RBLA), 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.

This is what happens when you give—you make it possible for survivors to heal and have the strength to help others who are still trapped in slavery.

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