The India Exclusion Report 2013-14 is envisioned as the first of a series of widely collaborative annual reports, involving numerous institutions and individuals working on the issues of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in India. Each year, we hope to build our collective understanding about the extent to which the state at all its levels — local, district, state, and union — is fulfilling its legal, constitutional and programmatic duties and responsibilities to excluded groups in the country.

The soft copy of the report can be downloaded using the following links-

For press enquiries or to purchase a hard copy of the India Exclusion Report 2013-14, please use the form on our Contact Us page.

Workshop on Bonded Labour Practices on June 23 in Jaipur, Rajasthan

June 23, 2014 (Jaipur)

“More than 50 Million Bonded labourers exist in the country, Rajasthan Government’s reform of labour laws are pro-employer and for easy exploitation of labour”

– Jan Breman, Emeritus Professor at the University of Amsterdam, author of “India’s Unfree Workforce: Of Bondage Old and New.”

bonded labour 2

In a day long workshop organised by the Centre for Equity Studies in Jaipur, as part of the launch activities of the India Exclusion Report 2013-14, academics, activists and former bonded labourers all gathered together to discuss the prevalence, severity and persistence of bonded labour in India. Focus groups discussions were held with more than twenty bonded labourers released from agriculture work in the Kishanganj district of Baran and the brick kilns of Haripur, Mandal and Bhilwara from Ajmer district. In Rajasthan, the speakers said that the most common occupations where bondage could be found were within the brick kiln industry, stone quarrying, agriculture labour, salt mining and in Rajasthan’s famous craft industries – gem polishing, aari taari, gold bead making and carpet weaving. It is estimated that 300,000 bonded labourers work in the brick kiln industry alone.

The heart-wrenching stories narrated by the participants demonstrated that the phenomenon of bonded labour not only dominates an entire life-cycle but continues until death in many cases and also sometimes carries forward to the next generation. It was also demonstrated that this practice is common in Rajasthan and is carried out openly, with the support of the police and state administrations.

Babu Bhai belongs to the Sahriya Adivasi tribe and had come from Chainpura in Kishanganj, Baran district, having worked for 24 years as a bonded labourer on malik Sardar Umrao Singh’s farm. When his father died, Babu took a loan of three thousand rupees, and in exchange became bonded to Umrao Singh. He and his fellow bonded labourers were beaten up frequently but never went to the police as they did not know how to approach them. The Singh family even prevented schools from being built in the area. Babu felt that this was because if the children of the workers became educated, they would not be as easily exploited. Babu Bhai’s  wife, children and daughter-in-laws were all bonded until they were released through the intervention of the Jagrit Mahila Sangathan of Baran district in 2010. Despite being released, the State District Magistrate refused to issue him a release certificate, thereby entirely denying that his struggle as a bonded labourer had ever existed. He also received no state support for rehabilitation. Through NREGA, he was able get work which helped him initially. However, Babu Bhai and his family still live in fear of the Singh family, that had kept him in bondage for half of his life. He calls upon the Government for increased support to help them to improve their lives.

Brick kiln workers also face heightened discrimination. Ram Niwas from Salemanbad and his sister in-law Chigan Bahen grew up in bondage. In 2010 he took a loan of Rs. 15000 from the owner from a brick kiln, and became bonded. At the end of four years, he was somehow left with a debt of Rs. 8,00,000 to repay. The owners took away their possessions and Ram and his family lived in coffin like homes so small that they could hardly stand in. Chigan Bahen spoke of the rampant sexual violence in the brick kiln sector, and even though they had lodged FIRs against their employers, no action was taken by the police.

These narratives were accompanied by discussion, analysis and recommendations made by specialists and activists such as Professor Jan Breman, Kavita Srivastava from PUCL Rajasthan, Moti Lal from Sankalp, Madan Vaishnav from Prayas, Jai Singh and Ganga Ambika from Volunteers for Social Justice in Punjab, and Amar Nijhawan and Shikha Sethia from Centre for Equity Studies. The participants were unanimous in condemning the State for its neglect and demanded that all state governments must re-survey their jurisdictions for the existence of bonded labour. They also recommended a more pro-active role for the NHRC. Finally, they spoke on the need for active lobbying and campaigning pertaining to labour laws and labour bondage to create pressure on the State to respond to this issue.


To register for the Delhi Dialogues on Exclusion on 25th June, please click here.

Google Hangout Broadcast on 21 June: Debating Inequality in India with Kiran Bhatty, Gautam Bhan and Harsh Mander


Why is the female literacy rate in India much lower than the national average? Who bears the brunt of housing shortage in the country? Why are there more Muslims and Dalits in jails?

Behind such difficult questions, lies the reality that government policies, programmes and laws often function in ways that exclude the most marginalized and vulnerable members of our society. Join us for a discussion with Kiran Bhatty, Gautam Bhan and Harsh Mander on the role that the government (and society) can play in ensuring inclusive growth for disadvantaged groups in India. The participants are all contributors in the India Exclusion Report 2013-14, to be released on 25th June 2014. For more details, read here. The hangout will be moderated by Anjilee Istwal.

More details about the hangout are available on the Youth Ki Awaaz website.



Housing and toilets: Exclusions by Saba Sharma

A special focus on exclusion from urban housing in the India Exclusion Report 2013–14 (IXR) establishes clearly the link between housing and other development outcomes like health and education. The report documents and links to studies that show that health outcomes, in particular, are inextricably linked to the quality of housing and sanitation. Yet, 53 per cent of all households nationally do not have a toilet on the premises. Provision of toilets, however, is not merely about efficiency in service delivery — it is deeply political. Who gets access to toilets, and how, is linked to their position in the hierarchy of citizenship.

You can read the full post on the Down to Earth website here: Housing and Toilets: Exclusions

OPEN EVENT: Dialogues on the India Exclusion Report 2013-14 on 25 June

IXR 2013-14 Cover

Centre for Equity Studies and Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability

invite you for


Date: 25 June 2014

Venue: Silver Oak, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi


9.30 am to 10.00 am



10.00 am to 11.30 pm



Jan Breman (University of Amsterdam); Devaki Jain (Delhi Policy Group); Ravi Srivastava (Jawaharlal Nehru University); Shamika Ravi (Brookings Institute); Archana Prasad (Jawaharlal Nehru University)Umi Daniel (Aide et Action); Harsh Mander (Centre for Equity Studies)

 Moderator: Coen Kompier (International Labour Organisation)


11.30 am to 1.00 pm



Shubha Chacko (A social activist at Aneka, a Bangalore-based NGO that primarily focuses on working-class collectives of sex workers and sexual minorities)

Usha Kiran (A Female-to-Male transgender and a person with disability. His dedicated work in Chikkballapur has been instrumental in enthusing members of both these excluded communities to come together and take up issues of advocacy)

Prabhu Bakanwar (The elected Secretary of Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, a democratic network of sexual minorities focused on advocacy. He is kothi-identified)


1.00 pm to 2.00 pm



2.00 pm to 4.00 pm



Manuel Alphonse (Social Watch – Tamil Nadu); Paramita Majumdar (Union Ministry of Women and Child Development); Smita Gupta (Adivasi Adhikar Rashtra Manch); Harsh Mander (Centre for Equity Studies) 

Moderator: Subrat Das (Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability)


To register for the event, please visit this page or send an email to 

To learn more about the India Exclusion Report 2013-14, click here.

Introducing the upcoming India Exclusion Report 2013-14

The India Exclusion Report 2013-14 is envisioned as the first of a series of widely collaborative annual reports, involving numerous institutions and individuals working on the issues of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in India. Each year, we hope to build our collective understanding about the extent to which the state at all its levels — local, district, state, and union — is fulfilling its legal, constitutional and programmatic duties and responsibilities to excluded groups in the country.

By consolidating and generating knowledge around exclusion in India, the report seeks to inform public opinion and debate on these issues, and to influence the political class and policy makers towards more inclusive, just and equitable governance. Equally, we hope the report will serve as a tool to support public action for the greater inclusion of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in the country.

There are four main segments to the India Exclusion Report 2013-14:

The first part of the report identifies four public goods – school education, urban housing, ‘decent work’ in labour markets, and legal justice in relation to anti-terror legislations – and collates both primary and secondary evidence of inclusion and exclusion of disadvantaged and vulnerable people from each of these public goods.

The report adopts the following structure in exploring the dynamics of exclusion in the four areas mentioned above:

(a) The Nature of Public Goods: A discussion around the nature of the public good from which exclusion is being mapped, including its legal, programmatic and regulatory frameworks.

(b) The Excluded Groups: A comprehensive identification of groups being excluded from the public good, along with an attempt to recognize the major categories to which they belong.

(c) Causes of Exclusion: An analysis of the key mechanisms thorough which exclusion occurs, classified into four broad levels:

  • Faulty design of law and policy.
  • Institutional bias in the implementation of law and policy.
  • Active violence and discrimination by the state.
  • Low and faulty budgetary allocations.

(d) Consequences of Exclusion: An analysis of the consequences of such exclusion for the excluded groups, and the broader costs of inaction for society as a whole.

(e) Solutions and Reforms Needed: Proposed reforms to address, prevent and reverse exclusion.

The second part of the report contains a detailed analysis of central and state government budgetary and planning processes, from the specific prism of denial and discrimination. In particular, it focuses on major categories of disadvantaged populations, namely women, Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, and persons with disabilities.

The third part of the report moves from public goods and exclusion to portraits of three highly excluded and vulnerable groups – namely, the transgender community, bonded labourers and the Musahar community. The purpose of this exercise is to highlight the condition of these most disadvantaged and marginalized people, who suffer an acute denial of multiple public goods, and constitute an overlapping and dense intersectionality of many markers of disadvantage.

For each of these selected groups, the report illustrates the multiple denials of public goods, the discrimination, insecurity, indignity, and violence that they face, and suggests public policy and legal reforms required to address these exclusions.

Finally, the fourth part of the report is a statistical appendix of authentic data relevant to understanding and tracking inclusion and exclusion from a range of public goods. The appendix provides data at the central and state governmental levels, and for the major categories of vulnerable populations, namely women, Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and persons with disabilities.

The report has been compiled and coordinated by the Centre for Equity Studies. The contributing organisations (in alphabetical order) are:

Aneka, Bangalore
Brown University, Providence, USA
Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, New Delhi
Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi
Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, New Delhi
Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Bangalore
Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK
National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi
New Education Group — Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education, New Delhi
Nirantar, New Delhi

The contributing writers and researchers (in alphabetical order) are:

Agrima Bhasin, Amin Reza Khan, Amogh Arakali, Amod Shah, Anam Mittra, Annie Namala, Anushree Deb, Archana Dwivedi, Archana Prasad, Arvind Narrain, Coen Kompier, Dada Saheb, Divya Verma, Farah Farooqi, Gautam Bhan, Geetika Anand, Gitanjali Prasad, Gunjan Sharma, Jawed Alam Khan, Jeevika Shiv, Kiran Bhatty, Madhumita Bandyopadhyay, Naaz Khair, Neha Saigal, Radhika Alkazi, Ruchika Chaudhary, Sajjad Hassan, Sameer Taware, Sandeep Tirkey, Shikha Sethia, Shilpshikha Singh, Shubha Chacko, Smita Premchander, Subrat Das, Sudhir Katiyar, Swastik Harish, and Warisha Farasat.

The report will be published by Books for Change (BfC) and is due to be released in June 2014. You can also follow updates on the report on Twitter and Facebook.

For press enquiries or to request a copy of the India Exclusion Report 2013-14, please use the form on our Contact Us page.