Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
What is wanted is an effective authority working mainly in Assam and definitely charged with responsibility for the emigrant during his journey and after his arrival, and entrusted with adequate powers to protect his interests. In other words, we desire to see not two authorities covering much the same ground, but two complementary authorities, securing the protection of the emigrant in different areas. We recommend the appointment by the Government of India of an officer in Assam who will look after the interests of emigrants who have not yet decided to make Assam their permanent home. He would be required to keep in touch with the recruiting provinces and would have the right at all reasonable times, with or without notice, to enter any garden in order to inspect the condition of the workers from other provinces, and of their housing accommodation, etc. He should also have the right to talk to them either in public or in private, and any person hindering or molesting him in the discharge of his duties should be liable to be dealt with as for a summary offence. It would be the duty of the Protector to bring cases of wrongful recruitment to the notice of the provincial Government concerned and to advise on all matters connected with the migration of labour to Assam. The Protector should also be entrusted with responsibility for the emigrant during the journey and should be in a position to take up the prosecution of persons forwarding emigrants otherwise than in accordance with the Act and of ensuring that the emigrant is cognisant of his rights under the law before he reaches the garden. The statute regulating recruitment should give the Government of India power to make rules for the protection of the emigrant during transit, and the Protector would be responsible for the administration of these rules and for advising the Government of India on matters arising out of their operation. We would add here that what we saw of the arrangements for the emigrant on the journey reflects credit on the Association principally responsible for them.