Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We believe that, at least so far as the more important recruiting areas are concerned, it is still necessary that there should be control over the forwarding of assisted emigrants to tea, gardens. Where this control is required, it should, for the present, take the following form. Assisted recruits should not be forwarded except through a depot maintained by the industry and in charge of a local agent appointed by the industry and approved by the local Government or by such authority as it may appoint. The aim should be to require the industry itself to take adequate measures for the prevention of abuses. This responsibility can be best discharged by proper organisation for the provision and maintenance of satisfactory depots in the recruiting areas and on the journey. Hitherto the arrangements for registration and transit have been largely in the hands of one organisation which claims 93% of the present recruitment for Assam. A number of gardens, mostly Indian-owned, are not members of this organisation nor have they been organised for recruiting purposes. The dangers of unorganised recruiting are obvious and it is essential that collective arrangements should be made, if the industry is to discharge its responsibility. If it is not found possible for this to be done through one organisation, we see no objection to suitable groups of planters forming themselves into organisations for this purpose. Each group able to satisfy Government that it could collectively fulfill the obligations of the law should be entitled to set up its own depots and to place local agents in charge of them. The agent should be required to maintain registers of recruits in the prescribed form. The rules in force should also make provision for the detention of women and minors for a limited period, and the law should prohibit the forwarding of minors who are unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. The depot and its registers should be open to the inspection of any officers appointed by the provincial Government for this purpose. From the stage when the emigrant is moved from the depot, the rules should be made by the Government of India, who should make provision for the following of certain prescribed routes to Assam and for the maintenance, at necessary intervals, of depots where the emigrants can rest, be fed and, if necessary, be examined.