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Indentured Labour Migration From India
Indentured labour is a bonded labourer under contract to work for an employer for a specific amount of time to pay off his passage to a new country or home.
In the 19th century hundreds of thousands of Indian and Chinese laborers went to work on plantations,in mines and in road and railway construction projects around the world.Most Indian indentured workers came from the present day regions of eastern UP,Bihar and Central India.In the mid 19th century these regions experienced many changes-cottage industries declined,land rents rose,lands were cleared for mines and plantations.All this affected the lives of the poor;they failed to pay their rents became deeply indebted and were forced to migrate in search of work.
The main destinations of Indian indentured migrants were the Carribean islands mainly Trinidad,Guyana and Surinam,Mauritius and Fiji.Indentured workers were also recruited for tea plantations in Assam.
Recruitment was done by agents engaged by employers and paid a small commission.Many migrants agreed to take up work hoping to excape poverty or oppression.19th centry indenture has been described as a new system of slavery.On arrival at the plantations laborers found conditions to be different from what they had imagined.Living and working conditions were harsh and few legal rights.