June 2nd, 2011
04:26 PM ET

A $110 loan, then 20 years of debt bondage

By Siddharth Kara, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Trafficking expert Siddharth Kara is a Harvard fellow and author of the award-winning book, "Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery." For more than 15 years, he has traveled around the world to research modern-day slavery, interviewing thousands of former and current slaves. Kara also advises the United Nations and governments on anti-slavery research and policy.

A bonded laborer named Haresh in West Bengal, India, once described to me how he took a loan of approximately $110 from the local landowner to get married to his beloved wife, Sarika.

Two decades later, Haresh told me, “My entire family is still in debt to the landowner.  Sarika and I work in the fields, my sons and their wives work at the brick kilns.  One day my grandchildren will work for the landowner.  There is no way to repay these debts.  We will only be free when we die.” 

Haresh had no real sense of what his outstanding debts were.  Since his initial loan, he had taken numerous loans from the same landowner for basic subsistence, medicines, repairs to his hut and other reasons.  He was also charged interest that often exceeded 100% per year.  Destitute and isolated, Haresh could not access any other source of credit.  He and his family were forced to work 14 or more hours a day by the landowner, almost every day of the year, with barely enough food and water to survive.

Haresh’s story is an example of the millions of bonded laborers across South Asia.  Like Haresh, many bonded laborers have been in bondage for much of their lives.  Others enter in and out of bondage several times; and still others enter in and out of bondage every year for seasonal industries, such as agriculture and brick-making.  These individuals take loans and try to work them off, but due to deeply exploitive manipulations by their exploiters, they end up toiling against these small debts for years.

It is important to understand: bonded labor is a form of slavery prohibited by international and South Asian law.  However, bonded labor remains an ever-evolving, highly complicated mode of labor exploitation that persists in broad daylight.

At its essence, bonded labor involves the exploitive interlinking of credit and labor agreements that devolve into slave-like exploitation due to severe power imbalances between the lender and the borrower.  The system persists due to poverty, absence of alternative credit sources, a lack of justice and rule of law, and social acceptance of the exploitation of minority castes and ethnicities that has been prevalent in South Asia since Vedic times.

Debt bondage is not historically unique to South Asia.  It was a common mode of feudal labor exploitation across much of the world centuries ago.  However, a mix of social revolution and transition to industrialized market economies largely extinguished bonded labor throughout Europe, North America and East Asia.  No such revolution ever took place in South Asia.

As a result, I estimate there are approximately 18.5 to 22.5 million debt bondage slaves in the world today, almost 90% of whom are in South Asia.  This makes bonded labor the most expansive form of slavery in the world, with approximately six out of 10 slaves being bonded laborers.  (Related: The challenges of counting a ‘hidden’ population)

Bonded labor is also an active contributor to the global economy.  I have documented hundreds of bonded laborers in more than 20 industries, such as rice, tea, frozen fish and shrimp, carpets, cigarettes, fireworks, minerals and stones, gems and apparel.  I have also traced the supply chains of these products from the point of exploitation in South Asia to retailers in the European Union and the United States.

Beyond the global economy, bonded labor may also present risks to global security.  My most current research indicates there are increasing security risks associated with the suffering, poverty, and exploitation that feeds into debt bondage.  Extremists in Pakistan and India have begun to recruit amongst current, former, and potential bonded laborers with promises of income, stability, and a way of fighting back against the governments that have consigned them to abuse and exploitation.

Bonded labor is a relic of history that should have long ago been eliminated from South Asia, but greed, corruption, and government ineffectiveness allow this caustic mode of exploitation to persist well into modern tines.  In order to ensure basic human rights, guarantee untainted global supply chains, and protect international security, the forces that promote bonded labor must be tackled immediately.

More from Siddharth Kara on The CNN Freedom Project


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soundoff (597 Responses)
  1. eddie2010

    Replace "small loan" with "student loan/mortgage" and replace "landowner" with "bank", and then explain to me how this is different than the US?

    June 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • MarketsWork

      Really? I thought that my coimment was the most ludicrous, but your comment takes the ridiculous cake.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • PanKot

        Absolutely right. Totally agree!!! Same modern day slavery in the US disguised as "freedom of choice"....BS!!!

        June 3, 2011 at 10:28 am |
      • Common Sense

        Then you can't see the forest for the trees. The only difference between the poor guy in the story and the weetren world is that we enter into that bondage to credit card companies and student loans willingly without regards to the consequences but once entrapped we then become slaves to our own greed. 25% interest on a loan that gets jacked up for the slightest reason when the mob made loans of that nature it was against the law but when so say legal lenders do nobaody bats an eye.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
      • Ruth

        What 25%? My student loans are 3.75% Anyone who agrees to a 25% loan is a moron.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • Rigel54

        What "Common Sense" says is ridiculous. The first fundamental difference is that credit terms in the US are generally reasonable. It is relatively easy to get credit cards with ~7% interest. Even at 15% one has to be pretty stupid to bury oneself. Even if one does manage to get in so deep that one can't get out, bankruptcy offers a resolution far short of a lifetime of slavery. The comparison is absurd.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
      • john

        common sense is right. 25 percent is called 'usery' and it is a federal crime for any private loan. the only corporation that is exempt is the banking idustry. if your credit is bad they can charge up to 45 percent APR.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Robobobo

        If he and his family are forced to work 14 or more hours a day by the uhm bank that gave him the college loan, almost every day of the year, with barely enough food and water to survive – then he is indeed in the situation here in America.

        And it would indeed by slavery – but in reality there isn't the same power balance or 'bonded labor' link.
        In the U.S. if you have no income – you are judgement free. It's only if you have an income that it can be garnished – it can be garnished up to a certain percentage – according to your states laws – but its not 100% – it doesn't transfer to your family at all. And in reality, the bank can't make you work to pay off the debt. What they can do, is make a note of your non-payment or turn it over to a collections company – but even there you have rights, you can tell the collection company they cannot contact you and make it entirely a matter for the courts.

        The courts will not make you a slave – period. Garnishment of 25% of our income – is something that might happen.

        June 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • Jason Glugla

        It might be different in the ultimate level of misery experienced in life but maybe you can explain to all of us dumbies how there is no comparison to the United States wherein you are kept in debt if you want to get an education or healthcare. I suppose you can skip all that and just live on the Burger King salary which is all that is going to be left when all of the manufacturing has been shipped to China and much of the service has been shipped to India but it is a good thing for the Wal-Mart families of the world. I am sure this is all just because the rest of us aren't as clever as you though.

        June 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
      • T

        at Common Sense:
        Except the government doesn't send Luca Brasi to collect your debts.

        June 4, 2011 at 2:03 am |
      • FinancialGuru

        To all those that think it's different here and the comparison is ludicrous....

        Have you ever been debt free since you left high school? Do you not work everyday in order to re-pay that debt?

        Are any of you able to just quit work? why not? Because you must pay your mortgage, fix your house, keep the utilities on, pay the taxes and put food on the table.

        How different would your life be if you had no debt. Would you still go to work?

        June 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
      • JoshH

        this analogy is the most ridiculous arrogant ignorant thing I have read in a long time. "Man, I'm stuck with this credit card debt that I acquired buying things I couldn't afford and didn't really need. It's like I'm a slave in India or something. Oh well, I guess I'll just look at Facebook for a minute then play some Playstation 3 for a while, then go to bed after I eat a nice steak dinner at a fancy restaurant, all of which I paid for on my credit card. It's like I'm a slave in India for real"

        June 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
      • @JoshH

        Exactly, Josh. How about some context? Do you whiners REALLY thing your children and their wives will be paying for your student loans? When was the last time you didn't have enough food or water? Are you really so self-absorbed and vain to think you suffer? We can all claim bankruptcy, at least. We all signed up for the loans and got profits from them- whether we bought stuff, an education, or healthcare. Our system isn't perfect, but please, don't be so self-righteous as to lose compassion for others in the world who really do suffer. We don't know suffering. ("I work every day to pay off my debt!! I suffer!" Did you drive to work? Is your work place heated/air conditioned? Did you get your state-mandated breaks? Did you leave a house that was safe and comfortable? Are you well-fed? Yeah? THEN SHUT UP.)

        June 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
      • Not always

        I had to open a credit card account to get $400 in repairs on my car, so I could get to work, so I could pay off the credit card... at 24.99%APR. Didn't have a choice in the matter. It's not always frivolous. My credit went sour when I was in school and had to work full time, fell behind on utility bills, medical bills (to the tune of $6k that is still owed), and ended up with items that I am just waiting to have fall off my credit now that they're paid off. The assumption that people with bad credit are people who have "unnecessary extras" is just untrue. There are many of us scraping by for essentials.

        June 5, 2011 at 9:16 am |
      • Joan Rethcrow

        eddie's post is really obvious Chinese propaganda. They can't fix their society, so their only option is to try to project their failures onto us.

        June 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
      • Donald Trump

        Rigel54 says "95% of Americans don't make less than $50,000 per year. Most Americans don't die penniless. Why do you just make these things up? People check, you know, even if they don't know."

        To bad YOU just make these things up. People DO check, and the average US Per Capita Income in 2009 was $39,138, courtesy of the US Census Bureau. Don't be a moron and spew incorrect info. People in this country need help, and absent the slavery part, Corporate America is doing a VARIATION on what has been reported in China. Bilking people out of their earnings is just plain wrong, and just because it's "LEGAL" doesn't make it "JUST" or "MORALLY RIGHT".

        June 6, 2011 at 9:42 am |
      • DJ

        @Rigel54,

        Your facts are totally wrong. Student loans CAN NOT be discharged in bankruptcy. There is no statute of limitations on student loans. People are losing their social security checks to student loans - that's correct, not even your retirement income is immune. All garnishments relating to student loans (wages, tax refunds, and social security) can be done by the lender WITHOUT a court order.

        Collection fees on student loans absolutely do reach 25% and even higher: http://collectionagencydebt.blogspot.com/2011/04/defaulted-federal-student-loan.html Imagine waking up one morning and your balance increases overnight from $400000 to $500000. This absolutely does happen to many people.

        You cannot blame these people for failing to read the fine print. The 2005 law eliminating the statute of limitations for student loans was RETROACTIVE. That means people who went to school in the 1970s and 1980s, who thought that the statute of limitations had expired on their loans, were suddenly retroactively subjected to collections. There was certainly no clause in their contract stating that they would be subject to retroactive changes in future law.

        June 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • sumday

        you said his comment was ridicules yet you NEVER explained the difference. Is it because the only difference is in perception?

        June 8, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Mrs. M

      Gee ... for one thing, you HAD A CHOICE!!! Nobody held a gun to your head to make you apply for or accept any student loan. If you made stupid choices, you were free to make that stupid choice and with freedom of choice comes consequences of the choices you make. Don't whine about your stupid choice, like it's somebody else's fault. Because, it's not. You could have worked to earn and save money to go to college (like a lot of us did.) You could have made a more intelligent choice regarding your choice of study, with realistic expectations regarding potential income derived from that choice of study. The American Dream has been bastardized far too long. You have a right to PURSUE happiness – NOT to have it given to you on a silver platter. You have a right to a basic (high school) education – NOT college. You have a right to free speech (except in cases of threatening a highly placed elected official, or discussing a potential exchange of money for sex) and that gives you the right to complain about things you'd never dream of complaining about IF THAT COLLEGE EDUCATION YOU STUPIDLY BORROWED MONEY TO GET WAS WORTH THE PRICE, SINCE IT NEVER TAUGHT YOU TO WISE-UP!

      June 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Reply
      • danny

        That laborer did not have a gun to his head either. He had a choice too.

        June 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
      • PanKot

        Gee... For one thing you sound like a typical brainwashed, conditioned consumer who is not capable of his own opinion. Have you ever looked at statistics????!!!! Pretty much all seniors in this country die penniless!!! Are they also stupid?? Get real, switch off your TV and get some FACTS!

        June 3, 2011 at 10:38 am |
      • AgCrew

        Pankot, would you rather they die with millions? That doesn't sound like a very smart retirement plan. You can't exactly take your money with you.

        June 3, 2011 at 10:41 am |
      • f

        You are 100% right ! ! ! You go BoyEEE !!!!

        June 3, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • Tripp

        You're an idiot Mrs.M. What world do you live in? 95% of all Americans make less than 50K a year. You must think everyone is a millionaire.

        June 3, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • Common Sense

        I don't know when or where you went to college but maybe you need to wake up to the real world. Work and save to go to college, get real. Today even if you wanted to work and save to go to a technical college, let alone a four year institution, you'll be working for a loooong time. And as you work to save up one year's tuition, time is passing the job market is shrinking as is the possibility of making that investment feasible. And don't even talk about pay as you go because any money you make will go for those little things like food, shelter, you know the things you have to pay for unless you're living woth Mom & Dad and going to a school where you can just take a bus, subway, ride a bike or even walk to. We tell our kids to get a good education to get a good job but what good is that advice if when they take a course of study that will get them a good job only to be saddled with debt out their butts that have to be paid off with the money made on new job they have as well as having to pay for necessities?

        June 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
      • lms

        Is your Halo on a bit tight today Mrs M ?

        June 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • Rigel54

        95% of Americans don't make less than $50,000 per year. Most Americans don't die penniless. Why do you just make these things up? People check, you know, even if they don't know.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • Shannon

        I think that we should handle college the same way they do in most of europe. If you have the grades, it's free. PERIOD.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • Mrs. R

        Actually, you DON'T have a "RIGHT" to education. No where in our founding documents (declaration or constitution) does it say anything about a right to education – even a high school one.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • Nomad

        Wow Tripp obviously cant read. 95% huh. head over to the IRS stats page and see what people make and pay taxes on. I think your in for quite a shock. 30 million people fall in the 50k-100k tax bracket. That's quite a bit more then 5%. Add to that the 20 million more who make between 100k and a million and you can see how badly your estimates are off.

        June 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
      • Flick

        Geez Mrs. M, do you have a clue how things work anymore? You may have been able to work full time and go to school back when you did it in the mid 20th century, but times have changed. College education is getting ludicrously expensive to the point where people don't make enough to live and go to school. They have to get loans. Plus good paying jobs are getting harder and harder to find so people are paying a higher percentage of their earnings paying off a degree that may have been useful 4 years ago, but isn't really anymore. Even people with nursing degrees and engineering degrees are struggling to find jobs these days. This was not the case before the economic collapse.

        I was fortunate enough that I did not need student loans, but I understand that they are the worst form of loans to be caught under. We need student loan reform NOW... and make it retroactive. If the banks suffer... oh well.

        June 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
      • db501

        well, he also didn't HAVE to get married, now did he? Nobody held a gun to his head: and now you marry this woman!

        June 4, 2011 at 6:57 am |
      • John T

        I am not sure if Mrs. M is completely right, but a buddy of mine is graduating with his Masters degree without paying a dime out of his own pocket (Navy GI Bill), my wife is going through nursing school for $40 a semester. So Maybe you guys that whine allot are just plain lazy? Dunno just a hunch.

        June 4, 2011 at 10:54 am |
      • johnny

        That laborer had a choice too. Nobody made him accept the deal. Interestingly, children at 17 and 18 years old are told to just sign the loan papers for student loans because these loans will be "nothing" compared to the huge salaries they will have access to after college. Well, that wasn't true and the children were fooled into slavery right here in our own country. No different than the laborer in the story.

        June 4, 2011 at 10:56 am |
      • Danielle

        I work 3 jobs over the summer to save for college and still did not have enough to pay. My parents helped as much as they could but alas we have other expenses too. It doesn't make you "lazy" as you suggest. I did as much as I could and graduated with honors and was involved in a prestigious internship while being involved in other college activities. I was also a note taker at college. Explain to me what I did wrong here?

        June 4, 2011 at 11:44 am |
      • Cracko

        Yeah, Ms M, really, really stupid comment. Yeah, people have a "choice" to not go to college: they can go to work at Walmart for the rest of their lives instead. Nice choice, you imbecile. Also, they can go "work hard" and save the money for college. Good one again, you idiot...this isn't 1955 or even 1985. Apparently you havnt noticed but things have changed in this country, those good paying entry level jobs are hard to find, and college tuition is more expensive than ever, making loans the only real option for all but the most fortunate kids. Wake up you jerk...

        June 4, 2011 at 11:51 am |
      • Cracko

        danny hit it on the head.......that guy didnt have to get married and start a family in that sort of environment...now THAT was stupid.

        June 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • Samson

        You don't need a gun on your head, Just the threat of missing the upcoming rent and ending up on the street with your family is enough to agree to cash advance on your credit card with interest rate of 39%.

        June 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • coolnezz

        Totally agree with Mrs. M

        June 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • MeleLoke

        Well spoken, Mrs. M! My three children each worked several jobs to get thru college, and did take out small loans to supplement their jobs, but that helped them learn the value of managing their money. These ARE choices we make. PanKot and others, you are creating your own "victim mentality" when you see yourself a slave to an employeer. I don't have a college degree, but I have worked as an employee and as an employer. An employee trades his time and effort in exchange for wages. Better yourself and prove your worth and you WILL move up in the world. He who sees himself as a "victim" of circumstances will always be a slave to someone, namely himself, if no one else! I realize that there are injustices in the world, but the notion (expressed in some of these comments) that employees are "slaves" because they are required to comply with the employer's guidelines, is what KEEPS them in their so-called "slavery."

        June 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
      • Harry

        Mrs. M, Very well said... If you were born in US, You should run for the President. We need more people like you to shake up people to get up their asses & achieve... Until that happens no one can save this country. Not Mr.B's QE1, QE2, QE3...

        June 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
      • Vegasbohemian

        Mrs. M, almost all of the industrialized countries of the world "INVEST" in the education of their youth ALL THE WAY THRU COLLEGE EVEN MEDICAL SCHOOL ETC, bu t we don't..hence we have fallen behind; we ask our youth to be consumers since they are little kids; waste their lives on video games and music videos(consumerism); force them to borrow for their education (those that are driven to study); and then we complain ....we do not invest in the future of our country and instead we support the banks and insurance companies and help them rape our future for their own profits and if anyone challenges these bastions of our society they are labeled socialists and even commies....look at what we have from supporting the banks and insurance and energy sectors....should we not switch gears and invest in education-free education-all the way thru graduate schools...imagine that...we would have the most educated work force in the world....we would once again be the TRUE leaders of the world.

        June 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
      • e2verne

        Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I am an "African-American", the great grandchild of REAL slaves, and it makes me so angry and flabbergasted to read these whining comments from what may be the most privileged group of Americans yet. They truly have no idea what privation is or what it feels like; but if they buy the GOP/TP line in 2012 they will definitely get a clue. You are NOT a slave, any of you. "I borrowed money for college and now have to work hard to pay it back" is not slavery, it's indebtedness. Welcome to adulthood.

        June 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
      • joe

        No one forced this guy to get married. It was his choice to borrow that money. He could have earned it somehow

        June 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
      • AC

        To all of you saying that the Bengali laborer didn't "have" to get married: It's entirely possible that he actually did have to. Arranged marriages are still the norm in India. I personally know several who have had no choice, because once the dowry was accepted by the groom's family, it was a done deal.

        June 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • sumday

        You talk about choice like it is a luxury afforded to all. Sure this man had a choice to get married and have kids or die single with no kids (that may be acceptable in our culture but taboo in theirs), Also he could choose not to eat and die, or live outside like the cavemen did instead of in a hut- I guess those are all reasonable choice in your mind huh? As for the USA- lets see sure you could not go to college I know of at least 1 person who didn’t and makes more than 35K, but everyone else that I know who didn’t go makes far less than that- but your right you can choice to basically stay poor with almost no ability to advance in the work force or take a loan to hopefully earn more money. Transportation yeah guess that is an option too you could always walk the 10-20 miles (both ways) to work (they do in other countries). House well you could buy a tent. Healthcare- you could just choose to die. Yes I guess you think those are all reasonable choices that person can make. I mean if you have no money and no job homeless & starving is a perfectly acceptable alternative to buying the food and housing on credit right. Everyone has a choose I guess it’s just that human nature and survival really don’t leave open the door for those “alternative” choice that you seem to think everyone has. As for the mention of the GI bill (which is how I did it) it requires a few yr of bondage! I spent 3 yrs serving as a slave to the USA- I had no choice after I signed, I worked most days 12 hr or more (6am-6pm or later), was told what and how to do things and almost got an article 15 for a 2nd degree sunburn- I was told that qualified for destruction/damage of government property! So the GI bill is the exact same thing as selling yourself as a slave!

        June 8, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • danny

      eddie, i agree with you on this point to a certain extent. Many people have loans so high they will keep paying them for their lifetime - while the rich have it easy (daddy pay's for all tuition/boarding). It seems higher education (especially at the more prestegious schools) is something reserved for the rich (the rich get richer and the poor keep getting poorer).
      However, we do have opportunities to work hard and get scholarships. Also, people need to be responsible with how much they borrow. I have seen people waste their loans on non-essential things (like flat screen TV, new cars, etc.).

      June 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Reply
      • Freeland

        Danny-
        1. Check your spelling before you post.
        2. Sorry your parents were not responsible enough to save up for your college. I understand they needed that above-ground pool and flat screen TV. Scholarships? You mean that thing that punishes the middle-class and rewards the lower-class for being what they are? Great.

        June 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • Tripp

        @..Freeland
        1.) Check your ego at the door.
        2.) Im sorry you live in reality that was given to you with a silverspoon in your mouth, anyways thats what it sounds like to me. Parents giving their kids things as they grow up is normal. A 2500 dollar pool and a 900 dollar flatscreen hardly consitutes your condesending BS towards Danny.
        3.) Scholarship recipients have gone on to invent, cure, help cure many ailments plus have had major impact in space exploration, geology, biology ect...
        4.) Now that the edcuation process has become a business, not everyone will have access to it. Everyone should have access to higher education. It only will help society as a whole as more people have this access.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • Katie

        @Freeland

        RESPONSIBLE enough to save up for college? Explain to me how a mother raising children with a husband who has been unemployed for 7 years due to crippling medical conditions is acting irresponsibly when she budgets her money every month and has some months where she barely has enough to pay for groceries. Flat screen TV you say? Try a 27" tv set comfortably in the tiny living room of a row-home. Now obviously here, I would assume your response would be "well she has the choice to go work somewhere else and make more money". She is a nurse, and to do so would need to further HER education, which entails paying HER tuition when she has her CHILDREN'S tuition taking up her first priority. You are ignorant and idiotic for assuming everyone who takes on student loans is a result of irresponsible parenting. I was raised to appreciate everything my parents were able to give me, when and if they were able to. I worked through college to pay for my boarding, graduated with a business degree that was earned via my student loans, and will be entering a job late this summer with an extremely comfortable salary. If your ignorance is any indicator of the lifestyle you were raised in I will go ahead and assume that you have absolutely no idea how stressful it is for parents to support their children in the best way possible when all other living expenses have been cut down to the bare minimum. Think before you speak and give some credit to those who have experienced decades of hard times but still managed to instil a hardworking mindset in their children.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
      • Somethinglese

        Unlike others, my family was never well-off enough to save money for a mini-vacation let alone my college fund. . It is easier than you may think to get trapped in debt here in the US. However, a good portion can be due to neglect. I don't often see many people who had a family well enough to save for their college, so they borrow or they save to get the education that in a recession may not even be worth the work and pain of it. At least we have the opportunity to save and scrimp to go to college. All that man wanted was to get married. $110. Do you think he had much of a choice later on in life when his children were hungry and his low position in life could not make the money to buy the food to provide them with enough sustenance to comfortably be alive? Where was his choice? Did he really even have a choice to begin with? We may not be as well off as we pretend, but to compare us with them is sick. Slavery is a problem. I agree we shouldn't ignore home-land issues, but to ignore the violation of basic human rights is atop the list of crimes against humanity. Turning the blind-eye in selfishness is worse than having never seen outside your blinders.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • Rochelle

        @ Freeland

        You really think that because someone has irresponsible parents that the children don't deserve a better life? It's certainly not the childs fault. I guess you think you are better than every one because your parents were better off?

        June 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
      • Rigel54

        Everybody's a bit right in this. Parents who work hard and sacrifice (me) to put their kids through college do deserve some respect, and their kids do "deserve it" a bit more, it was earned. Those less fortunate do deserve a chance to earn their place. If they work hard in high school they can earn scholarships (1 of mine did). If they are very successful their very poverty becomes an asset, as many fine schools give complete to nearly complete free rides (which my very accomplished kids were not eligible for, someone at my economic level has earned the right to pay 40% of their income instead. Student loans are pretty reasonable. Some parents who are able do spend their money on fine cars, big TVs, and other luxuries. It's not their kids fault (though they enjoy the lifestyle), but their parents made the choice. They still have scholarships, grants, and loans. Another road is to work for a high quality private college. Many grant their employees full tuition. We went that route, 20 years work for two tuitions to one of the countries best universities (though 1 kid could have gone anywhere anyway).

        June 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Yowzzzer

        Danny, what is that little mark between the "y" and the "s" in the word "pays"? I tried wiping it off my screen, but it is still there. It even moves with the text when the screen scolls.

        June 5, 2011 at 9:52 am |
      • e2verne

        first – my previous post was in reply to Mrs. M. This post is in reply to Eddie and all the others who are shocked, shocked I tell you to find the wonderful system of student loans and grants that made higher education possible throughout the 70's and 80's has disappeared. Say "thank you, Ronald Regan", but don't blame anyone else. There used to be The Dept of HEW-health, education and welfare – and it benefited EVERYONE. The GOP decided to focus the country's attention on what were very few "welfare queens" – and talked their constituency into making a hew and cry about "money going to the undeserved". Mr Reagan then dismantled HEW, split into separate depts, the better to focus on the "welfare" part. And thus we have...2011, and the disentigration of what had been easy access to higher education and student loans that DID NOT require parents to save for their children's education. I mean how much can you save and for how many children on a middle class salary? All this was done with nary a peep from your parents. They were too busy trying to dismantle affirmative action. So now, balck kids can't afford college, white kids can't afford college and no one will tell the truth why!

        June 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Patiat

      Seriously, you gotta come out and say it...please tell us convincingly that you AREN'T REALLY equating the servitude of generations over a $110 debt to student loans in the US.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Reply
      • VR13

        $110 in rural India 20 something years ago was an enormous amount. In terms of purchasing power, it could have been equivalent to thousands of dollars in todays US consumer market. In fact, it was a for marrying his wife (think of dowdry and wedding celebration) – something that would saddle a lot of US consumers for years. Besides, the laborer in the article has borrowed additional amounts periodically.

        The real difference is that he has to work up to 14 hours a day, and many of us who do have jobs have to work 10 hours a day, that's why it appears the guy is enslaved. But objectively, we aren't much better off.

        June 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
      • Rigel54

        Yeah, I'm afraid that's what they're doing. It's pretty sad. It's the kind of victim philosophy that is degrading this country these days. They just don't know how good (yes, even the poor) have it (compared to some parts of the world).

        June 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • John

        Its like talking to a wall it seems. I'd like to ship dumba$$es like VR over there for a month. Are you really crying about 10hrs a day. There's far more to working and living conditions then that.

        June 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
      • NotTheSame

        VR13 I agree with you that it $100 20 years ago in India was a large sum of money, but the difference is culture and laws. In the States, no matter how far we get in debt, we can always file bankruptcy and start over. Sure, certain debts can't be bankrupted like student loans and IRS debt, but even if those lead to garnished wages, there is a limit to what percent can be garnished. I don't think think there are any parallels to the situation the author illustrates vs our standard of living. We could never be forced to be slaves to our debt, to HAVE to work 14 hours per day OR ELSE.

        June 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
      • Kay

        I am appalled by the many people here who think there's any comparison between school loans in the US and loans such as those discussed in this article. Entire families for generations are trapped into paying off loans with 100% annual interest rates with the "terms of repayment" being that the entire family must work 14 hour days 7 days a week until the lender "says" the loan is paid off. There are no legal protections. There are no safety nets. Here you get to read the loan agreement and get monthly updates. There you get nothing but what the lender says...and he says whatever he wants in order to keep you in perpetual bondage.

        Oh, and for the "many of us who do have jobs have to work 10 hours a day, that's why it appears the guy is enslaved. But objectively, we aren't much better off"...this is also an absurd thing to claim. Objectively you are FAR better off than these people. You have enough food to eat...and can get food stamps, utilize food pantries, or eat at soup kitchens if needed to supplement what you can buy from your earnings. And you live in a home with indoor plumbing, hot and cold running water, electricity 24 hours a day, central heating...you do not live in a hut. And if you need help with that, you can get housing and utility assistance. You have access to high quality medical care...and it's available to you free if you can't afford it.

        Most Americans are ignorant of conditions in other parts of the world even though they have access to the Internet so, from the comfort of their own home, can read reports and studies on poverty, can read newspapers and magazines from other countries, not from the American point of view, can watch videos, can communicate with Peace Corps volunteers, can access data and compare it appropriately to that of the US. Even if you can't afford to go to another country, you can still learn about living conditions. And if you *do* go to another country, at least take a cab ride outside of the tourist areas to see what the place *really* looks like. See where and how people *really* live.

        Unfortunately, most of you haven't even been in a real slum in the US. That's bad enough...but not as bad as Third World slums.

        June 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Adnan

      Another fine Example of Shining India.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:21 am | Reply
      • Varun

        Are you a paki by any chance ? If so, then I don't blame you for your comment.

        June 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
      • todd

        Varun, does paki=untouchable? I used to know this stuff.

        June 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
      • Robin

        @ Todd, Might as well be. anyways you cannot dump the 'untouchable' tag on 1.2 + billion Indians for what some illiterates do. unless your goal is to point and laugh of course. This isnt even a topic related to untouchability... so the whole thing occurs more in your head than in India.

        June 4, 2011 at 1:12 am |
      • Dearypie

        I wonder how much of the the bonded labor accounts for India's current economic growth. If the gains from bonded labor is negligible than India deserves credit for its current economic boom. If bonded labor is an important part of it current economic status, than its economic boom is no real achievement at all. Either way it needs to be answerable for the use of bonded labor. The world should hold India accountable for it slave labor practices.

        June 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • e2verne

        Jiminy! I can't believe I'm still replying to comments here – please re-read the article. No place does it indentify the place as "India" – it says Southeast Asia of which India is only one part. The person discussed could be in the Phillipines, Malaysia, or any one of a dozen other countries. As indicated by one commenter – use your computer to learn about the world, not just to blog about what you don't know.

        June 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
      • Kay

        @e2vern – The very first words of the very first sentence say "A bonded laborer named Haresh in West Bengal, India...". The article then goes on to say that Haresh borrowed money from a "local landowner" in whose fields he and his family are *still* working 20 years later.

        Come on, now, @e2verne...do you seriously believe the local landowner packed up Haresh and his entire family and moved them to work in fields outside of India? Or that Haresh was simply on vacation in West Bengal when interviewed?

        June 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Ignoramus

      The difference is that students who take out loans are most likely very ambitious and have the desire to go to school, or else it wouldn't make any sense for them to go into debt for the sake of obtaining an education. Of course there are stupid people who take out loans for granted and still waste time doing irrelevant things other than learn.

      Going to school and using your brain for 14 hours a day is in no way comparable to working 14 hours of hard labor. Using your brain to learn things that interest you is the easiest thing you could possibly wish for in life. People around the globe who are in the situations as dire as being bonded to labor for life, would give an arm and a leg to go to school and learn. Whereas in more advanced countries, children and adults have the opportunity to learn but would rather play World of Warcraft, PS3, Xbox and Wii or using their silly little-square-cancer-in-a-boxes 13 out of 14 hours of their day.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:35 am | Reply
      • VR13

        14 hours a day for forced "learning" isn't much fun either. It's only interesting for the first couple of years after college. Have you heard the expression "burned out." Couple of years later, that's when your slavery begins.

        June 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • Exactly

        Your comment that many people in the US take education for granted is right on.

        Also (to introduce a conspiracy theory for discussion here), is it possible that some do not want educational opportunities to be prevalent? Are "classes" a requirement (or are they thought to be such by some in power) for the overall prosperity of a nation, nations, or the human race?

        And why don't people discuss Zero Population Growth and birth control any more? It seems that whenever there are discussions about poverty this is the "elephant in the room." At what point does the viability of the continuation of the human-species as a whole supersede an individual's reproductive "right." China is often greatly condemned for its one-child policy, but perhaps the Chinese – in this one regard – are the pragmatists who are on track with reality. Barring a disaster of some sort to reduce the human population, every nation on earth likely will be calling up the People's Republic to get their playbook.

        June 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Rob

      A student loan in the U.S. is different because the rate of interest is not exploitive and you can apply for bankruptcy to get out of the loan.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
      • Bankruptcy

        Nope, student loans are one of the few debts you can't declare bankruptcy from. Still, it is different from indentured labor because the debt and the labor are not interconnected and there are laws in place dictating maximum interest rate and payment terms.

        June 3, 2011 at 10:31 am |
      • HH

        US bankruptcy code does not allow for forgiveness of student loans–it follow you until you keel over. Fortunately it does not automatically transfer to next of kin (however, if there are assets in the estate, the creditors will have a very real claim).

        June 3, 2011 at 10:32 am |
      • Z

        @ Rob... You need to check your facts! You CANNOT get out of repaying college loans by declaring bankruptcy. Nice try tho!

        June 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
      • Mick

        Actually, Rob is correct. Student Loans CAN be discharged in bankruptcy, if three conditions are met:
        1. The debtor cannot be benefiting economically from the education which the student loan paid for.
        2. Nor can the debtor expect to benefit from it in the future.
        3. Re-payment of the loan would represent an extreme financial hardship to the debtor, and would therefore defeat the "fresh start" intent of the bankruptcy.

        Of course, it requires an adversarial hearing, and normally an attorney to argue the case, but this is actually one of the most misunderstood aspects of the bankruptcy code.

        June 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
      • Kay

        As usual, some people present their opinions as facts without bothering to making sure they're correct...after all, things change and we're all wrong at times. The odd part is that they're sitting at a computer while typing their erroneous opinions, so double-checking would be easy. But nooooo.

        Fortunately there are also people like Rob and Mick actually take the time to make sure they're being accurate. Unfortunately, even with those corrections, most people are going to continue spreading their FALSE information about bankruptcy and school loans because that's what they *want* to believe. Yeesh.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • Danger Man

        The two people above are right: you CAN discharge student debt in bankruptcy.

        What they didn't expressly say, however, is that it's virtually impossible. You're probably more likely to have it discharged through civil service, death or serious (and permanent) disability.

        So for practically everyone dealing with student loan debt...no, you can't, for all intents and purposes, discharge it in bankruptcy. It just isn't a realistic possibility.

        June 6, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • HH

      @ Eddie

      Eddie has a point here. While the differences between S.E. Asian bondage and US student (and general population) indebtedness are not trivial, it is nieve to assume that US creditors do not apply, equally, by threat or by action, a very legal violence towards non-payers (by violence I mean forcible eviction from homes, removal of the means of sustenance, jail, etc). The intent in the US is not to create slaves, it is to remove moral hazard and ensure prompt payment of debt which is the basis for our modern credit-economy. But the effect is the same: keep the rabbits running...

      June 3, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
      • AgCrew

        What should the rabbits be doing instead? Not provide for themselves?

        June 3, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • AgCrew

      When I was reading this article, I was thinking "You know the only thing sadder than this situation is that I'm betting plenty of people are going to try to compare it to the western banking system." Sure enough, the first comment I read. Student loans in the U.S. are not charged at usury rates. The article explicitly says he was being charged a rate of 100%. That's flat out illegal in the United States. If the interest on your students loans is that high, get a lawyer. In the United States, if you make good decisions and invest in a cost effective worthwhile degree, you'll be able to pay off your loans in no time. Going 80K into debt so that you can get a liberal arts degree from a no-name private college is where you're going to run into issues. Life is hard, but it's harder when you're so terrible at finance that you compare your student loan to third world slavery.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • Will

        "When I was reading this article, I was thinking "You know the only thing sadder than this situation is that I'm betting plenty of people are going to try to compare it to the western banking system." Sure enough, the first comment I read. Student loans in the U.S. are not charged at usury rates. The article explicitly says he was being charged a rate of 100%. That's flat out illegal in the United States."

        Yeah, just call the fees "late fees" and "expense fees", and charge them to the poor and desolate. That's totally more moral.

        "If the interest on your students loans is that high, get a lawyer. In the United States, if you make good decisions and invest in a cost effective worthwhile degree, you'll be able to pay off your loans in no time."

        Unless you pick a "fastly-growing, rewarding" field of study like I did, only to graduate and discover that all of the jobs in your supposedly "high paying" field have been shipped to India and eastern Europe, or are being given to H1B immigrants who work for $10/hour. Ohwait.

        "Going 80K into debt so that you can get a liberal arts degree from a no-name private college is where you're going to run into issues."

        Or, well, any field besides Medicine at this point. But wait - workers are being imported from third world countries for those jobs too - and you'd have to go $250,000 in debt to get into that field (as opposed to the $30,000, which is now "normal" for everything else).

        "Life is hard, but it's harder when you're so terrible at finance that you compare your student loan to third world slavery."

        Yeah, life is terrible when some fat pig CEO decides to lay off 5000 workers because his son Kip "just needs" that summer house in the Hamptons, or there's a Leir Jet with his name just written on it! Maybe the unemployment office will look highly upon you because you have that prestigious bachelor's degree.

        Your choices in America: go into debt or starve.

        June 3, 2011 at 11:24 am |
      • Buckeye Nut Schell

        Actually, the supreme court recently ruled that the government has no authority to place limits on the amount of interest someone can charge. 33% annual interest rate used to be the point it became loansharking but these payday loan scams charge in effect upwards of 300% and there is no legal recourse. I believe that it is much more subtle here in the United States but large companies like ConAgra exploit illegal aliens in much the same way. They pay an hourly wage that seems adaquate but then put them up in a line of single wide trailers on their property (10-15 per trailer) charge them exorbitant rates for rent and for food, work them long hours and pay them for fewer, make quotas that are not possible and look the other way when they have their children helping in the fields. This occurs on mega-farms all over the country. Student loans may be similar in a stretch of the imagination but the exploitation of immigrants here in America is exactly the same.

        June 3, 2011 at 11:27 am |
      • jimbooo

        Will must have gotten his degree in 17th Century Welsh Folklore Literature instead of something useful.

        June 3, 2011 at 11:47 am |
      • my 6 cents

        100% illegal here? how is it that when you pay a mortgage for a home you end up paying at least 3 times the amount of the loan?

        June 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • AgCrew

        "My 6 cents"
        Wiki "compounding interest" to understand the difference between the interest rate and the total amount you end up paying on a loan.

        I would venture to say that Will got caught up in an ITT scam of a degree. Best of luck to ya buddy and hope you make better choices in the future. I'll give you a hint though. Thinking that your boss cuts jobs so that his son can have a house in the Hamptons displays a complete lack of business sense. Better supplement that degree in a fast upcoming field with a few books on business and a reality check.

        June 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • Erica

        I disagree completely. When I first started school back in 2002, interest rates were high, especially for private loans > 18%. Unlucky for me, I HAD NO CREDIT WHEN I WAS 18. So I was penalized because I had no cosigner. To this day, I am still paying $1000+ a month for my student loan debt, and I will be for the next 20 years. At least I became an Engineer and make decent money, but it still hurts every month when I pay my loans and realize how little my principle is going down...

        June 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
      • AMyoung

        You beat me to it AgCrew...I think we should also note to my 6 cents that compound interest works on savings too. Try saving instead of spending and see how much better that works.

        I grew up in a lower middle income house, I worked hard in school and I went to a state university (on my own dime) and earned a degree in accounting. I have never had a problem finding a job in the 7 years I have been out of school and with my 6 figure salary, that student loan I took out is paid off. Is accounting "sexy" or "fun" profession, NO but it pays the bills. People need to stop making excuses.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
      • VR13

        @AgCrew While the interest rate we have does not sound impressive, the mare size of the loan will keep you crashed for years. Add your mortgage – and here goes another 30 years of working because of fear of eviction. So, even if there is a difference, it's difference in quantity, which doesn't not change the essence of the situation – you are enslaved to your loans.

        June 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • Kay

        No, Buckeye Nut Schell – SCOTUS did *not* "recently rule that the government has no authority to place limits on the amount of interest someone can charge". You might want to read what it *actually* ruled. Sorry.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Joan Rethcrow

      The only thing the two have in common is the word "loan."

      June 3, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
      • nina

        I agree! One is talking about debt that causes life hardship – i.e. possibly no food, shelter, clothing, generations of families forced into slavery. The other talks about having a debt that results in limited luxury spending and only stays with the person who took on the loan, not his/her children, grandchildren etc. and this debt most of the time is not for the purposes of foundational items such as food, shelter and clothing. It is for the add ons! You just cannot compare the two!

        June 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • jon

      you're on the internet. you get to eat what you want when you want. you don't spend 14hrs a day in a field. you're charged reasonable interest rates and know what the balance on your loan is. you're able to speak freely. you probably have a cell phone. you probably watch TV or go to the movies. you have opportunity... whether you can see it or not. It is both sad and pathetic that you feel you're life is comparable to that of bonded laborer.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • jimbooo

      People should not get married or have children until they can support themselves. How do we know than this fellow isn't a substance abuser or a lazy do-nothing.His debtor is villianized and probably has done absolutely nothing wrong. Typical CNN BS.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
      • Alex P

        Thats right, poor people should not be allowed to pursue happiness. How dare they fall in love and want to raise a family hoping that their children can elevate their family. They should keep to the American Tea Party Values, if you have no money, you should die alone, sick and poor.

        June 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • jimbooo

      If you can't pay cash, stay home, work hard, and save until you do.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
      • Danger Man

        Ah! Sound advice! Get a crappy job because you don't have a college degree and continue working there, saving a measly amount every two weeks, until you are able to afford college. Oh wait! Tuition has gone up 300% more than what you saved in that year. Pity, that. Guess you'll have to wait another three years...

        June 6, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • jimbooo

      If you were born to poor parents, it is your own fault for not picking rich parents. Sorry, but life isn't fair. You can only get ahead by working hard and saving. If you have to have instant gratification, then you need to work on your willpower.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • TomTOm940

        Anyone looking for teh archetypal "Ugly Americans" need look no furhter than this message board. What a bunch of heartless, arrogant a-holes the majority of you guys are! Go 'f" yourselves...

        June 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • f

      Quit complaining. If you can't pay backa loan, don't take it out. No one ever puts a gun to your head to sign for a loan. Don't go to college. Don't buy a house with a mortgage. I don't get why people say stupid comments like you just made.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
      • Danger Man

        Moron.

        People WITH college degrees are having a hell of a time finding work these days (even before the meltdown). Your solution is to become a wage-slave, literally living from paycheck to paycheck?

        Yeah. Totally reasonable alternative.

        June 6, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Xman

      So, Eddie, what you're saying is you'd feel exactly the same whether in Asia or the U.S. so long as you are in debt like the gentleman mentioned in this article? I see where you're going, but the US leadership knows very well there is much more profit to be made if people actually have more (much more) than their counterparts in other countries. The fat cats get fatter if the public owns cars, houses, boats, and a slew of credit cards. While this certainly creates a version of financial slavery, it is no doubt no comparison to working 14 hrs per day with barely enough food and water. Quite the contrary, even those of us very much so enslaved financially to US banks for our loans, we have it far better. I really doubt you'd be willing to board a one way flight to West Bengal and trade your existence here for it.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • Nick K

      You dont work 14hrs a day 365 days a year. You have enough food, water, and clothing. You have an internet connection from which you can spew your ignorant spoiled little chump comments. Bottom line YOUR NOT A SLAVE.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • todd

      Actually, many payday loans do charge that sort of annual interest right here in the US. The laborer's ultimate error was getting married. If he couldn't afford a wife, then he shouldn't have one., same with anything else in life. Don't live beyond your means, and if that means doing without, so be it. The only things you want to buy in installments are: car, home, education, required medical costs. Other than that, if you can't pay for it up front, you don't need it.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • LeelooMinai

        So, you're saying that he shouldn't have gotten married to the woman he wanted to? That happiness for him, in the arms of another person, should have been completely out of reach because he did not have money? He doesn't even live in the US, and it sounds like he lives in an area where there is no use for cars, homes, or education for the majority of the people who live there, who are likely very poor. Keep your critiques of how one should spend their money or take their loans out to the regions they belong. Your point may be valid for people in the United States, or other countries with advanced banking and technology, but not for third-world areas whose people grow up poor and working, marry poor and working, and die poor and working...Because that is what the generation before them did, and the generation before them, and on and on. It's what their children and their children's children will do, unless someone sweeps in and teaches them how to change their system. And as the current world situation shows, change does not happen overnight. The man wanted a wife, she was valuable to him in some way, just as your car, your education, or your home is to you.

        June 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
      • Kay

        Don't you understand that he lives in another country with another culture? Most of the world is NOT like America, but Americans seem unable to grasp this.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
      • Ben Shipman

        Actually, it is understandable that acquiring a mate would be one of a young man's very highest priorities. A person who lets poverty prevent them from doing so is likely a failure in Darwinian terms. The silly thing is that marriage is simply a status that has no inherent material requirement to enter into. All that is required is the agreement of the man, the woman, their respective families, the seal of the local civil/religious authority, and then sexual intercourse. An extravagant ceremony that sinks the newlyweds into destitution should not be part of the equation.

        June 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • wow

      Your student loan isn't showing up at your doorstep to beat you. Your student loan isn't monopolizing the local grocery and making sure prices are set at a level you could never afford. Your student loan isn't held by your employer who has no incentive to give you a raise because you can't leave that employer. Your student loan doesn't have a 100% interest rate. Maybe actually dig into what bonded servitude really looks like before you complain about how bad your student loans are while wondering how to lose those extra pounds from the Memorial Day picnic.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • tbone223

        Actually, student loans are now owned by the Federal Department of Education. Most of the funds that are used for DOE student loans come from bonds that are sold to teacher/faculty pension funds... So in actuality, these college students are mostly indebted to their teachers and the school and college administrators at a reasonable rate of interest and a reasonable cost... That was the case, anyway, until Wall Street decided to recklessly play with and ruin the old system for the sake of profits... Enter Madoff.

        June 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • gfg

      no different at all, we dont buy cars and homes we borrow them and make payments to master

      June 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • PointTaken

      Just to get back to the point....regardless of how ridiculously expensive and economically taxing college is for the majority of Americans, there is no way that paying off student loans/mortgages even remotely compares to indentured slave labor in a third world county.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • DaveNYUSA

      Ain't that the awful truth?

      June 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Jamie

      There is an actual answer to this... the article defines debt bondage as "bonded labor involves the exploitive interlinking of credit and labor agreements". In the case of a student, the creditor (the bank) is not the same as the employer (unless you go on to work for the bank that lent you the money, but I don't think that's what we're talking about). In the case of the farmer, the creditor and the employer are both the landowner.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • Dirk

      It's a hell of a lot worse. But I see your point.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • JamBit

      HAHAHA Eddie, your so funny!

      June 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Anon

      Not really, @eddie2010 and @bao The article speak to exploitative loans, not loans or debt in general. Fixed rate loans are exactly that, and anyone can reject accepting a loan. High interest rates are available in the US, but those rates/loans are reflective of the borrower's credit. There is still a capitalist element to those high interest rate loans, but the borrowers are considered to be high risk. Student loans are offered at a low fixed rate, and if you qualify for a FHA loan you can get a mortgage at 3%, but you have to have really good credit. But you can still get a bank mortgage for 4-6%. Not an awful deal. Credit cards can be risky, but if you pay your minimum payment every month they won't mess with your interest rate. Yes, you can lose your home if you don't pay your mortgage, but then again, shouldn't you? You don't get it for free if you stop paying. The loans mentioned in the article above are essentially loan sharking, which is illegal in the US, and is so because of their exploitative nature, and the near impossibility of fulfilling the debt obligation.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • leo

      think again...

      June 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • John Tate

      Hold on, you're one of those people that bought a house way beyond your means and is now complaining that you owe more than it's worth, aren't ya? Look, if you don't understand money, just send it to me and I'll manage it for you. My fees are a minimal 100%.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:48 am | Reply
    • Nuno

      TRUE !

      June 4, 2011 at 7:13 am | Reply
    • Gizzy

      I am just blown away by some of the insane comments of my "fellow" Americans. The fact that anyone could draw a parallel between this sort of indentured servitude and student loans, mortgages, etc. here in the US is absolutely mind-boggling to the nth degree.

      Does anyone beat you near-to-death if you take a break while working? Are you existing on a few ounces of water and a couple of pieces of bread each day? If you drop dead at work, does someone drag your body to the side of the field for the animals to gnaw on (once they've stripped you of clothes and anything else you might have on you, of course)? If you are injured at work, are you left to sit there and bleed to death? Will your children, grandchildren, great-grand-children, etc. be living in the same conditions endlessly because of the debt YOU incurred? Do you work 14+ hours a day without breaks for meals, bathroom needs, etc.? Are you toothless because the only "good" teeth you ever had rotted out of your mouth by the time you were 10 and there was nothing to be done about it?

      You're sitting there in your comfortable housing, reading the news online, posting your ridiculous comments, enjoying your time off (or maybe freely posting from work when you should be doing other things)... you will lay your head down in a comfortable bed tonight... go to the fridge and grab a cool drink when you want it... sit down on the toilet and surf the web on your phone while you do your business... hop in your car and grab McDonalds when you're hungry... post on Facebook about how your cat puked up a hairball that looks like the Virgin Mary... and forget about the fact that these people even exist, smugly telling yourself how well you understand their plight...that they should just suck it up.

      It's no wonder the rest of the world thinks we're nothing but shallow, arrogant people with an overblown sense of entitlement. The comments I've read here have been some of the most disgusting things I've yet seen on this site.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:03 am | Reply
      • Kay

        I agree. Shallow and with a sense of entitlement. And utterly clueless about the rest of the world.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
      • rkk

        Superb post. I couldn't have said it better.

        June 4, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • holycow

      The biggest difference is that the student loan was made presumably in the USA while the bonded laborer is in India. See, in the USA, we don't have a rigid caste system that predetermines a person's socio-economic & professional life. I can recognize that the USA is wrought with inequalities, but the two situations do not resemble eachother in the slightest, aside from the fact that money was borrowed. It is flippin stupid to ignore the cultural milieu of the borrowers in the completely juvenile parallel you tried to make. Don't want lots of college debt...? Go to a cheap school.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Jim Wall

      I'm in the same boat with this poor guy. Student loans of about 100K for a degree that's worth less than truck drivers make. DO NOT allow your kids to take those loans. There are zero protections. If you default, your world goes to heck in a handbasket.

      I understand what this guy is dealing with and I live in the US! If I paid every student debt (plus the 50% the collections people added), I wouldn't be able to eat. So I pay most of it, but the rest keeps stacking up. I work a low-income job. As a result of my trusting previous self, I will never be able to achieve anything.

      Thankfully, death will see me free of this.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:20 am | Reply
    • Matt

      Something like this could only come out of an American's mouth.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply
      • unowhoitsme

        Sad, but true!

        June 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • 1alan1

      100% correct! Banker thugs = parasites that choke the economy.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • Me

      Seriously? The guy is living in destitute poverty paying over 100% interest and you're comparing that to student loans. You really sound like the typical overindulged, whiny American who believes that the world and everything in it is his birthright. I went to college. I paid student loans. They were no big deal. I paid them off over 10 years and they weren't a burden at all. Of course, I only took out loans I needed, I didn't take out the maximum I could, just because it seemed like free money at the time (like some people do).

      June 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Loan Shark

      You forgot the credit card companies exorbitantly ridiculous interest and penalty fees. the very fact they have ingrained it practically mandatory for everyone to use their monetary system to pay for every commodity, including gas.

      this might be exacerbated by the very fact that a trip to the gas station and weekly grocery shopping would require an individual to carry several hundred dollars in cash. This, in itself is a sign of failed economics.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • DB

      If you don't want to be in debt, don't go there, simple! Instead of getting easy credit cards and maxing them out, pay them off and don't use them except for an emergency. It will take some will power but you can do it. Think of it this way, you have fallen into the "instant gratification" mode and have to have this or that, why? Advertising and slaes teasing by the merchants. So you doin't have the latest gizmo, does it still work and do the job? Why get rid of it. Our society has fallen into the instant gratification trap, has also forgoten how to fix things, like a pair of shoes, a car, a computer, or even a marriage. If it appears to be broken or does not work as good, we trash it and get another one, why? Save your money. Instead of falling into the debt trap change your view of things, and say to yourself, if I cannot afford to pay cash for the item, then I cannot afford it yet. When you can afford to pay cash for something you also have barganing power to get what ever it is for a cheaper price in most cases. If you have credit cards and want to use them be sure to pay 100% off each month and you will not get hit with outrageous fees at the end of the month. You will end up with record of your purchases for tax time and life remains good. I use credit cards responsibly, I never carry cash, and I pay it off at the end of the month. I have 3 or 4 credit cards with better than a $10K credit limit on each, but I only use one and pay it off each month. I drive a car that is 8 years old with a free title, and own a house that yes, it is mortgaged but I own only $115K on it. I never get behind becasue I have the payment taken out of my paycheck each month. Life is good and I am able to give the grand kids a $500 savings bond for each birthday and a $1000 for christening, able to take vacations for 3 weeks and travel all over the world. Why, becasue I do not owe my soul to the company store and I am not totally a slave to the easy to slide into modern day slave system.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Vancouverite

      Well I think the difference would be you can walk away without the threat of your family being murdered.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
      • DB

        I agree with you if I was over there. But my reference is with all the individuals who do not display self control in the USA and get into debt and then complain about it. Self control and credit responsibility are essential to success in life.

        June 4, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • froggyalley

      exactly. How is this any different than the credit card "agreement" that escalated to 29.99% for no good reason at all and never comes down? I have $15K balance that I pay $549/mo on and it won't be paid off for THIRTY YEARS!

      June 4, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
      • Kay

        Then get another card with a lower interest rate and do a balance transfer. But still make the same monthly payments...and get the thing paid off in 3-4 years.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Paul

      The difference is how power is exerted. The bank has the power to seize assets, but we don't have to work for the bank until the debt is paid off, with pay and interest structures designed to keep us from ever paying it off. Also, if we really do get to a point where we simply can't pay it off, there are legal remedies we can pursue (even student loans can now be forgiven in extreme cases of insolvency). It's in the bank's best interest to get the loan back *eventually,* even if it's also in their best interest to design fees to make the loan linger for a while. When you're working for the person who loaned you the money, on the condition that you have to work for them until all loans are paid off (and, as the article points out, without any obligation of the lender's part to tell you how much you still owe), it's in the lender's best interest to keep the loan going forever. It's possible that Haresh's loans were paid off five years ago but the land-owner just hasn't felt like telling him.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • Jan Donald

      That is a ridiculous and ignorant statement. It is by choice that you are in debt for student loans and a mortgage. Our interest rates are not at 100%. It is your own fault or the fault of your parents for not saving money for your college education. Nothing is for free, but we live in a society that young people think they are entitled. You have NO idea how these people suffer and you can not compare the two situations. Live within your means and payoff your loans! You should be ashamed of yourself for printing such ignorant trash!

      June 4, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Sara

      The difference is rule of law. There is nothing inherently wrong with borrowing and repaying and interest itself is not the problem. But imagine a banker knocking on the door of a household in the US and saying: "Hi there. I'm so glad you decided to get a student loan with us. Now you, your spouse, and all of your children belong to me. Come with me to my factory where you will work 14 hours days without pay. Of course, you'll need to eat, and since I won't be paying you, you'll have to rely on me to provide food. And I will - barely enough to keep you all from starving at for an outrageous amount of money that I'll add to your original debt. And if you protest, or don't work hard enough, or if I just feel like it, I'll beat you."

      If that happened here, we would call the police. There would be lawsuits. And it would make headlines. Because in the US, for all the flaws our system has, we have a firm rule of law.

      Bonded labor (slavery) is illegal in every country in the world, but in some places people can not trust that those entrusted with enforcing the laws will have the means or the will to do it. This opens the door for the strong to prey on the weak.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
      • rkk

        Excellent post. I think most people here just really don't comprehend the differences between slave labor and student loans.

        June 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • ttnv138

      And the law makers and the goverment protected the interest of the land owner or the lenders too.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • trixen

      I'll bet Haresh would give his right arm to trade places with you and your student loans. There's no comparison, so don't even HINT like there is. We have things in America that people in other countries would and do die for. Rent a clue.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Is anyone making note that this person took out a LOAN so he could get MARRIED? That is, without question, the poorest investment I've ever heard of. Take out a loan to further your chances of prosperity and opportunity through business development or inventing something or gaining a valuable education. Taking out a loan to apply the shackles of oppression is so ridiculous, I don't have any sympathy for him or his family. I mean, come on....if you have to take out a loan just to get married, life only goes downhill from there. And since the vast majority of marriages end over financial disputes, this was an absurdly stupid decision on his part.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • Kay

        We're talking an entirely different culture and country here. We're also talking about people who make less than $3 a day. And a huge illiterate underclass. And about a dowry system. PLEASE don't apply American rules and concepts to something you don't obviously don't understand.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • rkk

        Totally agree with Kay. It isn't like Haresh could just have his beloved as his live-in girlfriend instead of marriage. India has a different culture. Although things are becoming more westernized in larger cities, it isn't acceptable to be living with someone unmarried in the rest of India. For him, it was very likely a matter of getting married to his sweetheart versus losing her entirely. You don't seem to get this at all.

        June 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • 6,000 dollars to go on a 10,000 student loan

      Why does a desk side support job pay 30,-38 thousand dollars a year down from 45 – 55 thousand 5 years ago? Why are Programers fighting for their lives competing with the Slave labor market of India... Slave labor has a trickle UP effect... and until we start COMBATING it (eleiminating H1B visa's,) AMERICAN companies will continue to support (directly or indirectly) slave labor.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • c

      It's incredibly different. For one thing the reason why mortgages are so bad in the US is because people buy far more than they need. In the situation profiled here a family is mortgaging their basic needs. Additionally because there is a lack of usury laws the debt spirals out of control. It's the difference between getting a loan from Chase versus getting a loan from Tony Soprano. At Chase you will, or could if you aren't greedy, one day own your house. You are only addicted to debt if you choose to be. if this man wants medicine for his children he has only Tony to turn to.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • wayne

      If you don't know the difference you're an idiot. I never take hi price loans and everything gets paid off. Loaning money can create wealth. Borrowed money can create wealth. Idiot.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • Act

      Atleast bank doesn't throw you and your future generations in the brick house for 14 hours a day . Or would like to opt in for your "small loan". I am sure the guy in the other end would thank you for life for trading with him.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Francis Vela

      Economic Prisoners

      June 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • unowhoitsme

      Sorry dude...it's not quite the same. These people are starving and going without enough water. You're probably visiting the McDonald's drive thru getting a super sized meal. You need to volunteer trading places with this family.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Scratch

      So, you expect that you, your children, and your children's children will still be toiling at hard labor for 14 hours a day twenty years from now to repay your student loans? Your question displays a complete and utter lack of perspective.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • what's the difference?

      When you sign on the dotted line of a legal agreement representing either a mortgage or student loan, you know EXACTLY what you are getting into. You have informed consent. Nobody is forcing you to take out a student loan or mortgage and if you don't like the terms offered, you have the freedom to seek out a different lender. We also have rule of law here. When banks violate their terms, you can take them to court. Bonded laborers have no contract, no oversight and no hope. It is night and day. With sub-prime mortages, don't forget that just because someone is foolishly lending you more money than you both know you can pay back doesn't mean you should take it. Fault is EQUALLY on both sides there.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • abel

      Dude, are you serious? there is no comparison. I'm sure you would much rather be indebted here 1000 times then over there.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Fred

      100% interest vs. 5-10% interest. Very different. It's called basic math.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • RonnieReagan

      The clueless that come in here and compare our situation as Americans to this nightmare have no understand about what's going on in the world. Yeah, it DOES suck on many levels to toil away at work day in and day out to pay our bills, but in no way does it compare to this hopeless, and outright ILLEGAL situation.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Thomas

      You're equating a student loan with indentured servitude? With slavery? What "school" did you go to when you took out this loan that you could come out of it with such a pathetic sense of perspective?

      June 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Masacuriman

      Are you kidding? The same as student loans or credit cards people? You have no idea how the rest of the world is. Perhaps you have never traveled to some of these places and understand what happens. In this country, you can owe hundreds of thousands and declare bankruptcy and no mortgage or loan holder can legally contact you. You go to court and have your day. Even if yo are held liable for everything, your wife/husband and kids are not held responsible as these people are.. down to their grand children and even great grand children.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • toneitdown

      eddie2010: take out that student loan so you can get yourself educated.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • jwoliver64

      We have become a bunch of spoiled brats here in the USA (probably Western Europe too). 'Entitled' by birth to multiple cars per family, air conditioned homes, 8 hour work days, many with weekends off, closets and dressers full of clothes with shoes to match...cable-HD TV, DVD, Blue Ray, ISP via 4g, a cell phone in every 12 year old's pocket, most meals daily prepared by others...if we are enslaved it is to our own sense of entitlement...there is nothing wrong with nice things, I enjoy many luxuries...but to consume these things with an eye toward the next thing we want while others in the world have to truly slave away to meet basic necessities and then complain about our plight is sickening…now, how about the billions of dollars in US financial aid to South Asia (our tax dollars) going to bail out and educate these 20 million+ hard working individuals…’We the people” should insist on it.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Lola

      Totally agree !!!!

      June 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • Chetan

      To Eddie2010 – There is a huge difference my friend. They are fighting every single day of their life (without any vacation) for very basic need of human – food, water and cloth. You are not.

      June 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • mathis

      You are an idiot.

      June 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • chuck

      dude – i totally get where you're coming from (have pretty massive student loans myself). even though: my interest rates are capped by usury laws; the education i got with my debt-money has provided me almost unlimited opportunity; and no one can force my family to act, or restrict them in any way because of my debt, i totally feel like we're in the same boat as the people discussed in this article. seriously – because it's saturday my office only has the a/c at like 75, and the sushi i ordered 45 minutes ago (that's right 45 minutes) still isn't here. please help me before having any sympathy for people elsewhere.

      June 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      IN the U.S., you could move across country, change your job or even occupation, and attempt to repay your debt.

      Not so in S.E. Asia, you have to do the work they require you to do, at a dail;y rate that increases your debt, it will never be paid off. They control your wages (always less)and your cost of living(always more).

      June 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • bill davis

      Most home owners have a carrot in front of a stick, take care of the property, sell it for less than it is worth, work all your live and save money only to find out it pays no interests, and the taxes on your property is so great the tax man is going to tale to back..

      We are all slaves, on Government people retire early, and have medical perks. a few even make 5 million n a year selling book instead of taking bribes.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
    • Justin Observation

      The difference is, this guy knows he's a slave to debt and Americans don't.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply
    • EK1989

      You're nuts, you know that, right? I am pretty sure my student loan's interest rate isn't 100% . . . get your facts straight before you leave a comment and quit trolling.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Reply
    • Mandy

      You are an idiot. You're in mortgage debt if you happened to purchase homes you can't afford (new concept, not everyone deserve to be a home owner). You're lost in student loans if you decide to screw around and major in art and english back in college rather than something profitable. whatever you go through, no one will take away your children or beat you to get you to pay back, no one will trick you into working your entire life at 16 hours a day under 100deg and then force your kids to do the same! You have yet to see real slavery, american slavery would be a pampered form compared to the types they're talking about. Here's one for your education, buy a ticket, go to a poor Asia country, and see if you can even get back alive.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • Sandra

      You're joking, right? In the US if you are in debt, you can tell the bank "take it" and walk away. Try doing that in India, and see how far you get. You won't be forced to pull your kids out of school to work 14 hrs a day.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • vegan

      You need think, eddie2010! The APR on student loan is NOWHERE near 100%!

      June 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • BB

      I'm happy to have had the opportunity to receive a student loan. It helped me through a few years of undergraduate school so I could go onto graduate school. Not only that, the interest rates for student loans are very low compared to most loans, and the terms are generous, as you only need to start repayment and interest only accumulates after you're out of school when you can get a job.

      If you don't want to be "enslaved" by student loans or mortgages, you can choose to not take advantage of the flexibility granted by such institutions. Maybe you can pay your own way through college, or maybe you can rent an apartment for the rest of your life. Nothing wrong with that.

      Just don't pretend that you're somehow entitled to a life of not having to pay your own way, because you're not.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Reply
    • youranidiot

      Your an idiot.. dont even start to compare you stupid student loan to this issue.. moron.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:07 am | Reply
    • chrisrod3300

      I would go a step farther and say "The so-called Fed" which is a PRIVATE company that is happy to loan us more money so that the mint can print more and depress the dollar. If any of you think we are not slaves, then you haven't done your research. Our forefathers warned that if we had this (fed), it would destroy the country and BTW, JFK was trying to get rid of the Fed, so go figure...Pair the Fed with a president that gives away money like a rich man's wife goes shopping and you have a recipe for a downfall for all of us...It's only the beginning.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:17 am | Reply
    • MrId

      Maybe because I can walk away from a loan with nothing more than a bad credit score. If these guys walk away they will be beaten and thrown in jail.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:43 am | Reply
    • dublinfunk

      well for one, a loan made from a bank is out of your own free will...what happened in america is a collective effort from all the americans by not being fiscally responsible. In India though, it is a different story. They are being bonded for the basic necessities you guys take for granted like basic medicine.

      Why blame a bank for a mortgage that you took? At the end of the day it was your decision to take the loan and if you cannot repay our take a second mortgage out of your property then that is just wrong.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:20 am | Reply
    • Belky

      All I want to know is, what does modern tines mean? Besides that, I am all for slavery as long as the slaves are Asian! Keep on rockin in the free world! Peace out!!!

      June 5, 2011 at 6:21 am | Reply
    • mj

      Banks are owned by government (the Federal Reserve), so in reality anyone with student loan debt is enslaved to government. It's like the Pharoah has come back to life.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • MyOpinion

      Really??So have you and your family and extended family been working 14 hours a day to repay your student loans? Barely able to survive? Really??? Idiot!

      June 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      So, @Not always,

      Are you paying $100 a month on that credit card to get it paid off in 5 months with interest? Or are you paying the minimum monthly amount, which means it will take years to pay off?

      And what about the second job you took so as to earn some more money, however small the paycheck, to spend entirely on getting out of debt? Is that helping...or have you not gotten a second job because you don't want to work for minimum wage?

      Oh...and what about going to the free government-sponsored credit counseling agency in your area that can help people consolidate and pay off their debts? Have you talked with them yet? Found out how they can help you?

      Obviously you *do* pay off at least some of your debts...I applaud you for that...but what are you doing to get your debt under control?

      I know way too many people who won't get a second job because, for example, it's at a fast food restaurant and they'd *only* get paid $7.50 an hour. Of course, $300 a month extra income that was totally spent on debt repayment would get them out of debt *years* sooner...but they refuse to do it. They'd rather whine about having to pay off debts and high interest rates that they themselves incurred.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Sue Basko

      I immediately thought the same exact thing. I think if President Obama and Congress actually want to stimulate the economy, we need to forgive all student debt, public and private. Other nations give free higher education to the smart, hard working students. Here, students must take loans and end out forever being unable to kickstart a career, start a family, get a house, etc. It is really debt bondage.

      Our nation finances wars, not education. We see where that has gotten us. Time to revise the priorities.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Reply
      • By_All_Means

        Do you actually wont the students,
        that aren't smart enough to pay off loans,
        or kickstart a career, to Breed??

        June 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
      • Danger Man

        By_All_Means: A fair point. I'd like to add another: based on your post, I doubt you should breed either.

        June 6, 2011 at 1:01 am |
      • By_All_Means

        Danger Man: lol lol lol, Ditto

        June 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • fmausie

      hu,eddi2011
      i can not write a program for a donationbutton ,with many internet users ,a cent or ten cent ,so gumans ,has than free.
      iwrote to even mr ballmer or cnn,maybe cnn likes that ,or mr bankimoon,a u coin,of humans to humans.maybe paypal because it still not a vfree internetbank,or with the un.and too to africa and to childrens ,all with many ijnternet humans with only a bit.
      fmausie

      June 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • Bill Ring

      We are much more physically comfortable and have access to better medical care, dental care, and food here in the US. But for many, the feeling of being trapped in unpayable debt and caught on a treadmill is all too similar. I'd rather be here than there, of course, but the comparison isn't silly.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • clbill

      Obviously, you have never been to Southeast Asia and seen these conditions for yourself. Had you made such an effort, you would never make such a moronic comparison...

      June 6, 2011 at 3:33 am | Reply
    • jfsabl

      4% interest is not the same as 100% interest. You are not threatened with, say, death or castration or rape of your family if you default. So, well, some pretty significant differences.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • James M

      >Replace "small loan" with "student loan/mortgage" and replace "landowner" with "bank", and then explain to me how this
      >is different than the US?

      Unstated but understood is that if he stops working or attempts to escape, very bad and violent things will happen to his family. In the US I doubt you have a real apprehension that your boss is going to rape and then mutilate your daughter if you miss a credit card payment.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  2. MarketsWork

    They need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and make a future for themselves.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Patiat

      Yeah, that's it...in a place where a feudal system is still in place and $110 can put you in debt for several generations, it's going to be easy to just go out and get into the middle class by the sweat of your brow. Get serious.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Reply
    • barabbas2010

      doh! . . they're too poor to even own boots . .

      i suppose next you'll say "let them eat cake" ?

      June 3, 2011 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • todd

        Well, today is National Donut Day.

        June 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Xman

      India still lives under a caste system and very old, archaic cultural beliefs that have failed to progress with the times. Things are great if you are born in to a wealthy or prominent family, and if not, well, life will suck. As an Indian, you will have to work far harder and far longer than your US counterpart to achieve success.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • Dr. Abhijit Ray

        Nop! – There are these cases, I agree, but thses are reducing and many good things are being done for thses people – may be this poor guy did not get a chance to get in touch with and NGO but there are many cases where these people are helped by Govt and NGOs.

        So in short this is not a generalization of todays India.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
      • education is the key to liberty

        WRONG! Indian parents that have a clue scrape it together and make sure their sons and (to a lesser extent) their daughters become highly educated and then they send them to the USA to become physicians, scientists and engineers and they go from peasant class to upper class in one generation. Education is the key to success. If only the dum dums born and raised in the USA knew that. We have subcultures here that continue to enslave themselves in hard times because they reject education because education, apparently, is "white". I guess Indian and Chinese people don't think so because almost all the scientists and engineers in the USA are from these countries. Wake up dum dums. The only slaveowners here are you enslaving your own children.

        June 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • holycow

      @ Masterworks – In the USA, we can sort of blame a person for living in poverty, since we're in the "land of opportunity". In other countries, where poverty is the norm for the majority of the population, can you really say it's their fault?
      I take it you don't travel much...?

      June 4, 2011 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • trixen

      I can't help but sense a bit of cruel sarcasm in your comment.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      On the $3 a day they earn. Uh-huh.

      June 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  3. joelle esther benyayer

    dont come for jewish no look in france i work hackers maroco austira french dutch no money so what you said slavery in sinai ooh long time ago my friend and i deceid better to die in free country and lives our children to slavery and our wifes to the prostitution my ancesta massada eleazar ben yair joelle esther benyayer

    June 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • barabbas2010

      what ?

      June 3, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
  4. LDM

    Would the author tell me why Haresh took a loan to marry a girl? I understand that in India it is the girl who give
    dowry to marry a man.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • danny

      LDM, the dowry nowadays is only symbolic (and very tiny). There are many costs associated with the wedding (furniture, jewelry given, dinners, etc.). It is expensive for both the bride and the groom.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      Depends on the culture. In many countries especially in SE Asia, the Groom pays a bride price to the girl's family. Still a very prevelent practice in China. Even that aside, there is the cost of the marriage and starting the new life together. Regardless of all that, the point of the article is the wealthy enslaving the poor for generations and in return the poor get just enough to live in poverty.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:34 am | Reply
      • c lea b

        ever read upton sinclair's the jungle? in the first chapter we are introduced to a wedding party cringing at the impending costs as their wedding is assaulted by uninvited and nonpaying drunkards (predators)...it goes on to describe the conditions which lead an uneducated family into eternal debt (point for education) but the high costs of education keep poor uneducated vulnerable to these predatory practices- whose interest is in to keep uneducated from being educated- exactly these predators who legally scam the uneducated (especially in student loan business, as we are definitely not educated before we sign the loans we are obtaining for the horrifying enlightenment we will pay for forever- that it was not worth it) , so it seems predators who knowingly set these traps for the vulnerable are more liable than the hapless victims that are predictably falling into these hopeless economic pits! just saying...

        June 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  5. Annabelle Moore

    So sad that an amount that is about what a pair of shoes or a purse costs for us can be the same amount that can bring about so much misery and pain to an entire family. We must never forget how lucky we are in this country, even though we have issues with the economy, it cannot compare to the utter despair the people exploited must feel. If I knew where to send a check for the $110.00 to free this family right now, imagine many others would do the same.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Reply
    • Elaine

      I completely agree. At first glance my mind thought it said $110k. Then I realized that there was no "k". That is horrible. Generations of servitude for less than the cost of a single college textbook. I wish I knew where and how to send money in a way that would actually get to them.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
  6. Terra

    Set up a way to paypal donations....bet almost everyone who reads the article could get at least some people out of a debt that small.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:31 am | Reply
    • Buckeye Nut Schell

      Unfortunately, that was the debt that got them started. In these sort of scams, they force you into labor and then charge you for your room and board more than they pay you. Everyday, you go further into debt because they isolate you from any other source of food or housing and since you have to eat, they charge you whatever they want and it goes on your tab. They are probably in debt for tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars by now.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • NoWayOut

      If the landlowner can charge outrageous usury interest rates, thousands of rupees for daily sustenance, room and board...
      Haresh's debt would exceed a country's GNP. No wonder his family is still in debt.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • c lea b

      yeah- that is just what you should do, or you could read this first,

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr_7--e5A1g&w=640&h=390]

      and then you could rely on yourself, which seems to be the flavor of this content, and contact the landlord and agree to terms which pay off the debt- bet you get lots of cooperation and succeed! in self reliance self is the operative word...

      June 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  7. Jeff

    I support Kiva, which is a charitable organisation supporting micro-loans to the world's poor. This seems like one way to reduce this kind of insane loan-sharking. If you want to check it out, you can make a $25 loan on the website to a person of your choice. Kiva clients have excellent payback records, none of my loans has ever defaulted, and if they do, it will only be $25.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:40 am | Reply
    • From India...

      Problem is... these poor people dont even know that something like micro-lending exists. The feudal landlord is the only authority people like Haresh know. This landlord is their government, their bank, their justice system all rolled into one.
      This lack of knowledge is exploited at various levels by these landlords. The landlord even dictates where Haresh gets his drinking water. Add to that the strict caste system which forbids Haresh from getting water from the nearby well and this water source could be miles away from Haresh's house. Considering that he and his family have to spend hours doing hard labor in the landlords fields, getting this drikning water, from miles away, is a privilege they cant afford everyday.

      Its sad to see a lot of commenters here ridiculing Haresh for taking a loan for his marriage. Unlike the West, in rural India there is a social obligation to get married. God forbid if Haresh has a daughter!
      The father of a girl has to take a similar loan for his daughter's marrige. Again, unlike the Western idea of 'Marriage', for the uneducated poor and rural fathers in India, getting a daughter married is their sole and primary responsibility. Even here the landlord and the strict caste system dictate who and at what age (usually before 18) she can and should marry.

      During general elections, these landlords dictate who gets Haresh's vote. Haresh doesnot have any education to understand who he is voting for. So, Haresh and his family put the stamp on a symbol that his landlord asked him to. He does not even know that he has the freedom to choose. No freedom of choice!

      Even an uneducated westerner knows his freedoms. Not only knows but from some of the comments here looks like these freedoms have been taken for granted and are regularly abused.

      As rightly mentioned by the author, the cultural and social revolutions that didnot happen in the East have a lot to do with the current situation. Lack of primary education is the second reason for this situation. Deeply entrenched currouption is the third.

      For someone who has taken the freedoms and opportunities available to them for granted there can be no further explaination of the situation of the millions of 'Haresh's in India. I have empathy for Haresh but I pity the 'civilized', 'cultured' and 'educated' people who cannot understand his destituteness.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • fku

        wait a minute !! didn't i just hear that india is one of the fastest growing economy?? Im confused.

        June 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • selena

        @fku
        yup, but 'growing fast' is not the same as 'being large already'.
        their gdp is lower then that of italy or france ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal) ) and has to be spread out over way more people.

        June 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
      • holycow

        @fku: "fastest growing economy" does not necessarily mean that the wealth is 'trickling down'.

        June 4, 2011 at 9:20 am |
      • from PA

        so in exact money, as in common sense how much money is the payoff today, does this guy owe to get his life back and give his family a real life? If the debt were erased, would his sons and his daughters go to school to learn to read and to think? Would the local landlord fire the guy for being free of debt, thus forcing him to come back for another "loan"?

        June 5, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Kay

      Thanks for the info about Kiva! I signed up last night and now help sponsor 4 women with their own businesses.

      FYI, I also recommend Women-To-Women International.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  8. rohan

    It is indeed an eye opener for all of us that how the poor people are the victims of slavery from the brutal landowners they take the advantage of the lack of knowledge of the people good job done by Mr. Siddharth Kara..

    June 3, 2011 at 5:09 am | Reply
  9. thriller

    That's why Islam has outlawed this phenomena (interest system) centuries ago. But modern day banking, personal loans etc. are still following the same pattern, hence forcing the needy to agree to tough terms & conditions. The result, as we see is the slavery – spanning over generations.
    The person or family who have been 'trapped' or bound by such loan need some way out and would obviously do anything to free themselves. Recruitment by extremists in return of money is also an example.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:30 am | Reply
    • selena

      get real: you need to have interest in order to keep the money going, without interest nobody would be willing to lend money to other people (and risk not getting it back).
      islamic banking also charges customers for loans, but they are hypocrite and call it a 'fee' instead of 'interest'.

      the problem with those 'slaves' isn't interest as such, but outrageous interest that is in no way connected to any realistic measure of risk.
      i agree that charging such high levels of interest is immoral: the lender actively tries to keep those borrowers poor and ignorant.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  10. SS

    Very sad. BTW I noticed the last line is: "The opinions expressed in this guest blog post are solely those of Siddharth Kara." Similar disclaimers are put in by every news organization. So aren't all news orgs slaves to lawyers and legal system? Are they not able to boldly take a stand without a disclaimer?

    June 3, 2011 at 6:39 am | Reply
    • Kay

      Of course they can "boldly take a stand"...and we've all seen them do it, whether we (choose to) remember it or not...but this post wasn't written by the news organization. It was written by someone not affiliated with them over whom they have no control. Have you not seen both conservative and liberal newspaper columnists in the same paper? Have you not seen guest writers on both sides of an issue?

      The editorial is how the media presents its official position about issues. They are responsible for *that*, not for what guest bloggers or people who write letters to the editor say. Unfortunately, in this sue-happy nation, too many people cannot make the distinction. A disclaimer is a defense against *those* folks, not evidence of being slaves to the legal system.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  11. catchy title, but not true

    the title says $110, although as you read along it does mention that the person has no knowledge how much additioanl money he took as loan for medical, etc.
    LOOKS LIKE MR SIDHARTH KARA MADE IT UP. SHAME ON MODERN JOURNALISTS.

    June 3, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • Andrea

      Your reading comprehension skills clearly aren't up to par. The initial "loan" was $110. He and his family worked to pay that off with no income, hence additional "loans" were necessary. And sure he doesn't know how much he owes–the landowner is a slave trafficker, not a bank. He doesn't have to set fair interest rates or provide monthly debt statements to his slaves.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Ridiculous article is ridiculous

      I agree with catchyTitle. This article and indeed the rest of the 'CNN project freedom' articles are based on principles of muckraking and grant-begging.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • Kay

        Apparently you, like many others, can't separate your own experience regarding borrowing money in the US from that of illiterate laborers living in a third-world country...and, yes, India *is* a third-world country.

        I can understand that many people can't imagine how things could be so incredibly different and incredibly worse than what they're used to...but their lack of imagination only excuses them so far. And there's no excuse for holding onto that ignorance once they learn they may be wrong.

        June 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  12. mnesbitt

    Press 1 for English-there is no way India is a democracy ruled by the rich war lords.-how do we compete with hem?

    June 3, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
  13. BigJoo

    Well, they sure can make a fine brick and tasty cigarettes. Enslave them all I say, there always has to be an upper crust to prey upon the weak. I think the larger issue everyone misses here is he borrowed money to get married, that was the first mistake.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • John

      Was that the mistake you father made also. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. Just kidding bro.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  14. Bob

    Author Arundhati Roy: India's economic success a 'lie', BBC Headline, 02-06-2011

    June 3, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  15. RGELMAN

    Hats off to CNN for adopting the cause of modern human slavery, and particularly, to their persistance. As a member of the press industry, this campaign is a demonstration of what I have always believed the press could do, but rarely has.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
  16. Apul Ma'Deek-Aoud

    Given the situation of this poor guy & what it means to his yet unborn grandchildren I'd say his best way out if to find a bucket then kick it!

    June 3, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
  17. NICK RYMOND

    ITS A SHAME THEY DONT HAVE OIL CAUSE IF THEY DID WE WOULD COME TO THE RESCUE. UNFORTUNATELY THE US ONLY HELPS THE HELPLESS WHEN THERE IS EITHER OIL OR SOMETHING IN IT FOR US.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
  18. tim

    why do this guy continue to work for peanuts, is their no hope where he lives, and to compare a student loan to this is ludarcious..now if u say the irs which is the most corrupted legalized form of slaverly than you have something, you can never escape the irs and its bs pratices.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Kay

      Yes...because there is NO HOPE where he lives. India is a third-world country. Don't be fooled by call centers in big cities. Most of the country is rural and most of the population is illiterate and hopeless.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  19. Steve

    This sort of thing is very common in Asia. There are many loan sharks out there and they will charge huge interest rates that no one can get out from. Once you borrow from them, you will owe for the rest of your life and when you die, your kids will owe them. Some serious predators out there.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Steve

      Yep, and they arent far from you here either.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  20. Russ

    I am 62 and worked my whole life. Long ago, I realized that work for someone else is a type of slavery. Each person is a business and each person trades his time and labor for money. Since everyone is dependent on a steady stream of money, he can't usually quit without sever repercussions. Working for someone usually entails doing what the employer wants, without any complaints. Many times, such things as when the person can go to the bathroom, eat, talk about, and wear are controlled by the employer. Some companies even dictate what products the employee can use. Then, if you are sick, if you take time off, you may be fired. The degree to which an employee must give up their freedom is variable, but when you work for someone, all employees are required to work certain hours. Even jobs that people think are wonderful, require personal sacrifice. Most gladly trade freedom for money, since it provides a certain standard of living. However, make no mistake, every employee is a slave to some extent. That is why I retired as soon as I could, which was at age 59. Now, I do what I want, when I want. I never had complete freedom until I retired.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Jim

      We must learn to live within our means and have patience. Most people get into trouble when they want to have something they cannot afford. I am 44 and completely debt free. In fact other people owe me money of which some of it I will never get back. Amongst our siblings, we chipped in to help buy houses for each other interest free. But all this required some patience which most people do not have. Currently, over 50% of Americans would not be able to come up with $2000 in case of emergency and the US is supposed to be the richest country in the world. I say B*S.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      And you *still* don't have complete freedom. Any more than those of us who started our own businesses and employed people like you have.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  21. dcny

    As far as i know dollar is not a legal currency in india for local transactions. Why this person needed dollar instead of india rupee that to 20 yrs back– what are we missing here??

    June 3, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Bob

      It's shown in $ so that we would understand what an insignificant amoun it is. We, Yankees, would have no idea if it was shown in Indian rupees.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
      • Ridiculous article is ridiculous

        I have never seen a person called Bob describe himself as Yankee. Stop impersonating Americans, filthy goatherd!

        June 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  22. Jim

    Despite India's claims of high growth rate. That wealth has not trickled down to the poor man. In fact, that wealth has made things even more difficult for the comman man due to high inflation rate. In India, some people are born on the streets, they live on the streets and die on the streets.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • Ridiculous article is ridiculous

      Like your mother? Are you typing away from the street?

      June 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  23. Cindy

    So what's the problem? He was stupid and agreed to so some idiotic terms, rates, and conditions to his loan.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Kay

      No...he was a low caste illiterate unschooled laborer in a third world country. And he was just as ignorant about $$ as you are ignorant about the rest of the world.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  24. ProudMuslim

    Ever since the world financial crisis, more and more people are investing in banks with Islamic banking which forbids in dealing in interest. None of this financial crisis would have occured if banking system was based on the Islamic model.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • bob

      See Kuwait and city of Dubai is in Shit , per islamic law not paying back loan is punishable by DEATH thats why all europeans who purchased these properties have flew away and not returning back

      June 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
      • US

        Unfortunately, Kuwait and Dubai both does not have Islamic banking. They all have typical interest based western banking system.. go figure....

        June 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • US

      100% agree with your opinion!!

      June 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      Excuse me? They simply substitute "fees" for "interest" because even Islamic banks can't operate without income.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • By_All_Means

        lol, You are Excused.

        You don't think "Islamic banking" and the "Islamic model" is misleading people do you?

        You should put your self down for 2 or 3 million,
        I'm going to as soon as I can fined a Islamic bank.

        lol,lol,lol,lol............

        June 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  25. Pliny

    Find the person who made this 'loan'.
    Find his wife and children.
    Cut every one of their throats.
    Leave the bodies out to rot in the sun.
    Do this to a few hundered of these criminals.
    And guess what....this kind of crime will stop.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Yeah and then their buddies will find you and massacre your next 1000 generations. But I like your point.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Somethinglese

      Violence most often breeds more violence. If you channeled that same amount of effort in a more productive manner, THAT would end it.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  26. Jim

    Jim

    We must learn to live within our means and have patience. Most people get into trouble when they want to have something they cannot afford. I am 44 and completely debt free. In fact other people owe me money of which some of it I will never get back. Amongst our siblings, we chipped in to help buy houses for each other interest free. But all this required some patience which most people do not have. Currently, over 50% of Americans would not be able to come up with $2000 in case of emergency and the US is supposed to be the richest country in the world. I say B*S.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • bill davis

      The man paid $110 for a woman, John Edwards paid far more, and look what it might cost him, even the guy who borrowed $110 went back and borrowed more..so he did not learn his lesson...

      In the USA we have Welfare and it is a way of life, wish we could put them to work...instead of producing more babies.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  27. GOODJOBLANDOWNER

    DONT TAKE THE LOAN IF YOU CAN'T REPAY IT. ALSO IF HE WAS WORTH MORE TO ANYONE ELSE THEN HE COULD HAVE GOT BETTER TERMS ON THE LOAN. MANY PEOPLE ARE STARVING IN INDIA, HE HAS A HUT, FOOD AND MEDICINE. LOOKS LIKE HE WILL STILL OWE MONEY WHEN HE DIES. THE LAND OWNER IS THE ONE WITH A BAD DEAL AS HE WILL NEVER GET THE LOAN PAID OFF.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • imastarchick

      DO YOU WORK FOR A BANK? OR MAYBE ON WALL STREET OR FOR A HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY... You see some of us on the planet have humanitarian values, we see that there are some basic principles to stand up for. We dont like to live in an animalistic world where we have to fight for every little breath while a FEW rise to the top. We like the thought of humanly leveling the playing field so that all of people have rights like LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. This makes life less stressful and better for ALL PEOPLE and the planet NOT JUST YOU.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • bill davis

      China is starting to think that about Obama Land...who knows he might make a good slave..

      June 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • bill davis

      China is starting to think that about Obama Land...who knows he might make a good slave..he sure is a good spender

      June 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      Are you nuts? The loan has been paid off many, many times over. Landowners like this one take advantage of uneducated illiterate low caste laborers who have zero knowledge of laws, banking, finance, or that what the landowner has done is ILLEGAL. (You apparently missed that tidbit.)

      And the hut, food, medicine the laborer has? The landowner owns the hut. And the worker had to take loans out from the landowner to pay for food and medicine because all his alleged "wages" go toward "paying off" the "loans".

      You also seemed to miss the tidbit that the landowner doesn't lose anything when the laborer dies...because the worker's children and grandchildren are *still* responsible for "paying off" the loan.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  28. Ali

    Just shoot that Motherfucker dead. It will be justice. Fucking son of a bitch.

    I will shoot him and rape his fucking wife and daughters. Dog that he is.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • GOODJOBLANDOWNER

      I ASSUME YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE LABORER THAT WONT REPLY HIS LOAN. I DONT THINK KILLING HIM IS THE ANSWER, AT LEAST WHILE HE IS WORKING YOU GET SOMETHING OUT OF HIM

      June 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • GOODJOBLANDOWNER

      i meant to say repay, not reply

      June 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        no, pretty sure he meant the landowner. So sad to see the conservatives on here back slavery and indentured servitude.

        Its more obvious than ever why the GOP has become a party of extremists and idealogues.

        June 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • Kevin W.

        Steve...I am a conservative and don't support this. I pray that you will open your mind too. Idiots are found in both horrible parties and it is time for liberterians, Gree Partiers and anarchists to rethink our positions.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
      • GOODJOBLANDOWNER

        SO SAD TO SEE THE LIBERALS ALWAYS WANTING TO KILL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE LENDING THEM MONEY. NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO TAKE A LOAN. YOU DONT WANT THE LOANDONT TAKE IT. ALSO, THIS GUY TOOK A LOAN TO GET MARRIED, A TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY. IF HE NEEDED IT BC HIS CHILD WAS DYING AND NEEDED MEDICINE, THEN MAYBE I WOULD CARE.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • thegogalguy

      Oh well I believe this is what your religion teaches, kill, rape, loot have no respect for human lives..You don't have to shout out loud.. Shut your hole and go get a life.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Reply
      • By_All_Means

        Don't you Mean:
        Shut your hole and go and take a life.

        lol lol lol

        June 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  29. GOODJOBLANDOWNER

    THEY CLAIM 100% PER YEAR INTEREST. SOUNDS CHEAP TO ME. I WOULD NOT LEND BEGGERS ON THE STREET MONEY AT 100% ANNUAL INTEREST. MONEY TREE IN THE US CHARGES 27 DOLLARS FOR A 45 DAY, 100 DOLLAR CREDIT CARD LOAN. THATS 219% ANUUALIZED INTEREST AND IS SECURED AGAINST YOUR NEXT PAY CHECK. WORKING AMERICANS CANT GET LOANS AT THAT RATE, NOT SURE WHAT HE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT

    June 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      lol, all caps tells me all I need to know about you, that and you approve of indentured servitude.

      Hmmm, you must be a conservative.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • Somethinglese

      He is complaining that he and HIS FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS BACK are working a life of servitude. Go get an American Loan, then let your children and your grandchildren work for it but NEVER BREAK EVEN. Starve. Suffer. Then get on your computer again and re-type that statement you poor excuse for a human being.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • GOODJOBLANDOWNER

        I HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY, NO NEED TO GET A LOAN. WORKED HARD IN SCHOOL, GOT A HIGH PAYING JOB. I GUESS I WOULD LIKE ANOTHER SPORTS CAR, BUT THE WIFE SAYS 5 CARS IS TOO MANY.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  30. SMW

    This is one of the most appalling displays I have ever seen–racist, elitist, entitled drivel.

    To the author, Siddharth: I have not been able to read the whole series, etc., but if there is a charitable organization which helps these people buy their freedom and get their life back, please publish the name so those of us to give a s-it can donate? Thank you for the work you do!

    June 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Marie

      look into international justice mission - http://www.ijm.org

      June 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
      • Somethinglese

        Thank you for posting that up!

        June 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  31. Steve

    I am sure our politicians think this is a great idea.

    Coming soon to a state near you...indentured servitude!

    June 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  32. The miners' plight

    Just like the old time Company Store. Once they've gotcha they've gotcha forever.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  33. Bob

    For a minute there I thought they wrote an article about my mortgage. 100k loan and 20 years of slavery.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  34. Erica

    I disagree completely with the comments on here. When I first started school back in 2002, interest rates were high, especially for private loans > 18%. Unlucky for me, I HAD NO CREDIT WHEN I WAS 18. So I was penalized because I had no cosigner. To this day, I am still paying $1000+ a month for my student loan debt, and I will be for the next 20 years. At least I became an Engineer and make decent money, but it still hurts every month when I pay my loans and realize how little my principle is going down...

    June 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • bill davis

      Re finance or did you not get an education

      June 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  35. Robert

    This is what capitalism without rules, regulations or constraint looks like. And the Republicans would like to foist this type of capitalism on the United States, which had utterly failed, which in more unfortunate nations resulted in the pendulum swinging to the complete opposite direction:: communist revolutions.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • GOODJOBLANDOWNER

      I AGREE, REPUBLICANS ARE HELPING THE NATION AND LIBERALS ARE DESTROYING IT

      June 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
      • Sheilla

        YOU ARE DESTROYING THE NATION.

        June 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  36. Kevin W.

    My heart breaks as I read the various negative responses. We Americans have to realize that the developing world is not a consumeristic world. They live on a subsistence level. Where we ponder the different types of mobile devices we can buy, regions in Africa and Asia ponder where their next meal will come. Let's get off of our "wow we have it bad too" mentality and realize the role we can play to uplift humanity.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • Somethinglese

      I agree.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • Sheilla

      THANK YOU. THESE PEOPLE SHOULD BE ASHAMED.

      June 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  37. Somethinglese

    . It is easier than you may think to get trapped in debt here in the US. However, a good portion can be due to neglect. I don't often see many people who had a family well enough to save for their college, so they borrow or they save to get the education that in a recession may not even be worth the work and pain of it. At least we have the opportunity to save and scrimp to go to college. All that man wanted was to get married. $110. Do you think he had much of a choice later on in life when his children were hungry and his low position in life could not make the money to buy the food to provide them with enough sustenance to comfortably be alive? Where was his choice? Did he really even have a choice to begin with? We may not be as well off as we pretend, but to compare us with them is sick. Slavery is a problem. I agree we shouldn't ignore home-land issues, but to ignore the violation of basic human rights is atop the list of crimes against humanity. Turning the blind-eye in selfishness is worse than having never seen outside your blinders.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  38. By_All_Means

    This is Not! racist, all races must:
    live within there means.

    Don't take the loan if you can't repay it.
    We all must learn to live within our means.

    He was stupid and agreed to the terms of his loan. YES?
    So what's the problem?
    He was stupid?

    If you know you loan is going to make your children be born in to slavery,
    then don't make the loan OR don't make the children.

    You are the one making your children,
    you are the one making the loan,
    So you are the one making your children slaves. YES?

    How can your children and grandchildren be born in to slavery, if you don't have children?

    I didn't make children till my children and I could live within my means.

    live within your means.
    live within your means.
    live within your means.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • GOODJOBLANDOWNER

      I AGREE, DONT RISK PUTTING YOUR WHOLE FAMILY IN SLAVERY TO GET MARRIED

      June 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Somethinglese

      To live within your means is to assume that you have enough means to live within in the first place. He wanted a wife and more than to be alone and still in poverty. He could very well have been in poverty either way, but you are saying it is stupid to reach beyond what you have in order to try and gain more. The issue is with the power imbalance and ridiculousness of a life of slavery over what is equal to a high-school student's part time paychecks. NOT with the man's ambitions toward having a life. No, it wasn't a wise choice to take out the loan. That was never in question. However, when there is no other means to achieve a better life than the horrid option, he can either live within his means alone in a hut or aspire to have a partner and reach beyond it in the ambitious idea that maybe life can hold more than that.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  39. GOODJOBLANDOWNER

    ARE YOU THE JUDGE OF MORALITY. CAN I SEE YOUR ID. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN TO INDIA TO HELP? HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN TO AFRICA TO HELP THE STARVING CHILDERN? IF YOU REALLY BELIEVED IN THE CAUSE YOU WOULD GO THERE NOW AND HELP. BUT MOST LIKELY YOU ARE A LIBERAL ASKING SOMEONE ELSE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM

    June 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Jaccob

      We help as best we can while still "living within our means". We certainly do more good than people like you.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      Apparently you missed the fact that what the landowner is doing is illegal. While I'm sure you have no problem blaming victims (since you've been doing it here), do you honestly think that laws should not be enforced? Because it sure sounds like that.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  40. dcny

    I just did the math to get real picture behind it,
    based on 29% roi (this what capital one or chase charges for delayed payment)
    in 20Yrs $120 will become $19542
    in 30Yrs $120 will become $249386

    Now if you take $250,000 loan (in india or usa) today and dont pay for it - what could happen to you ?

    sorry guys i am not justifying slavery, but if you work at $12 a day just calculate how many days/yrs (it comes to 15 yrs to be precise) you have to work – call it a slavery or job - freedom of choice of your words, in USA we call it a job with extended hours in developing world we call it slavery.

    Someone just mentioned, that I forgot to calculate expense on car and gas.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • bob

      eyeopener for me!!!

      June 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • From India...

      Rs. 11,250,000. Thats $250,000 in Indian Rupees (@ $1=Rs45). and Rs540, thats $12 in Indian Rupees (@ $1=Rs45)

      Do have any clue what Rs 540 means to this guy? Thats close to what he could earn in a month if he had a hard labor job in India, if he is lucky. This guy is in rural India. So he doesnot even get 10% of that in a month.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  41. GOODJOBLANDOWNER

    TOO BAD HE DOESNT EAT BEEF, LOTS OF COWS JUST WALKING AROUND IN INDIA.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • Jaccob

      Seriously, go the hell away.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • JaylikeBird

      You should just continue gloating up to the moment when you must stand before your Lord.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  42. NicholasCook

    I'm sorry, but I really don't care about the people in this story. Most of the human rights issues take place in countries that have been around a lot longer than the U.S., and we are just fine. If they haven't gotten their stuff together yet, they never will, so let them be. Call me heartless, but oh well.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • bob

      if this is a direction for us-govt too

      June 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Eh

      Then why did you bother to comment on this page? Move on.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • NicholasCook

        Because it's my god given right. We waste so much money on foreign aid. We need to stop it, at least for a couple years. If not, our country is going to go broke, and China will own us. How will we be able to help then? I think all foreign aid should come from the private sector. If you feel like helping, by all means help. I just don't want my tax dollars spent on junk like this.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • Eh

        Your right. It is your god given right to waste time expressing that you don't care, when by doing so you are appearing to care. I agree that we need to help ourselves to help others, but that doesn't mean it should all be ignored.

        June 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • From India...

      India got its freedom in 1947 after being occupied for more than a century by the then superpower – Britan. It has taken America about 300 years to get where it is now after independence from the same nation – Britan.
      Yes India has been around for much more than 300 years but the occupation sapped its economic, material, cultural and social resources. America finds it difficult to get out of a recession caused by economic policies that were implented by elected representative governments in the last dacade or two may be three. Imagine how difficult it is to undo a century old exploitation by a foreign country.
      Recently it was Boeing who was begging India to buy its outdated fighters. It is companies like Du Pont and Monsanto who are pushing for their Genetically Engineered seeds to be used by Indian farmers to sustain the Walmart supply-chain. That means that currently the farms are growing "organic" produce but cant sell it as "organic" in the international market as it does not conform to the arbitrary criteria setup by first world standards organizations. As much as the tax dollars need to be kept within America, I would suggest that even the toxic waste created by American consumers be kept within America rather than sending it half way around the world for Indian child-laborers to be dismantled in unhygenic conditions. Hey those are American jobs being deported to third world countires rt? Oh and while you are at it keep those Asbestos laden ships built in the 1950s too. That would add jobs and also create a new market for the Health insurers ... what prosperity!!!

      June 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
      • By_All_Means

        Yes, From India...

        You can add Australia and New Zealand to the list of occupied by – Britan,
        Australia and New Zealand have not got its freedom/independence from the same nation – Britan.

        You don't need to Imagine how difficult it is to undo a '2' century old exploitation by a foreign country,
        just look at Australia and New Zealand.

        June 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
      • Robin

        you can't compare Aus and NZ with India! ... NZ and Aus did NOT have a large population of local tribes, while India was a Civilization. India already had lots of civilized practices. NZ and Aus didnt. Its one thing to Build everyting from Scratch and another to completely flatten an existing Civilization and build a new one.

        June 4, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • rob

      Your problem isn't heartlessness, it's being too stupid to understand why things are they way they are.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • Julia

      "I just don't want my tax dollars spent on junk like this." Just take care of your own, right? You are completely entitled to your opinion, no doubt. But don't demean another person's struggles in life by calling them junk...yeah, whatever, you can write what you'd like and call anything as you see it. Ignorance is completely free and you're exercising your rights....Yeah for YOU!!!!

      June 4, 2011 at 7:02 am | Reply
    • Julia

      "I just don't want my tax dollars spent on junk like this." Just take care of your own, right? You are completely entitled to your opinion, no doubt. But don't demean another person's struggles in life by calling them junk...yeah, whatever, you can write what you'd like and call anything as you see it. Ignorance is completely free and you're exercising your rights....Yeah for YOU!!!!

      June 4, 2011 at 7:04 am | Reply
  43. Annexian

    F*** do we really CARE!?

    We got that in the USA; "Check Cashing" for instance, a by-product of banks refusing to lend to anyone who actually could use a loan. We've got people who pay $1000 on a $100 loan and despite it being literally worse than "Mafia Loan Sharking", even using the court/prison system for the brutality, and it being "Usury" it's allowed and those that fall into such traps are mocked and thought of as lesser persons. Why should we care about people in Unga Bunga land when we got our own economy being messed up (in a small part) by people who end up "Slaves to parasites" and while you mock them this money just goes in some already very rich person's bank account, not the local stores/business that comes around to all of us who actually work?

    Too bad these "Moralist Crusaders" fight against Human Trafficking, only succeeding in slowing it in the USA a bit and criminalizing it more.

    Used to be a lot of Asian ladies (and central American) got into the USA as "S– Slaves". Like going to this guy "Hey! In debt? I'll buy off your daughter and pay well more than you owe..." Then he'd get a cute little (and I mean even adult) squeeze toy that'd behave like a woman when most women were getting "Liberated" and she'd become an American citizen once she dropped a brat or two. Good trade off, even in the 50s men didn't like to be brutal to ladies, they liked to work hard and provide for them, where overseas it's called "A worthless female".

    Is that offensive? I hope so.

    I'm so sick of you dumb moralists, you do far more harm than good.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Elissa

      No one ever said we didn't have issues in our own country. We just said we are sick of the treatment IN GENERAL. That is why organizations exist to help Slavery, not just Slavery in India, in Japan, etc. Organizations that are meant GLOBALLY. If no one gives a damn about them, how can you expect anyone to care about anything here? If we all shared you point of few, everyone would be left alone to suffer. Be thankful someone even cares PERIOD.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  44. Typolice

    Last line, well into modern TIMES... not "tines".

    June 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  45. Ron Robison

    All sympathy to Haresh, and I can assume his experience is in the same zipcode as alimony in America. I read this story, and the word "loan" is easily replaced with divorce while repayment is replaced by alimony.

    "There is no way to repay these debts. We will only be free when we die.” has been the message of many man who pays.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  46. Kady

    Most people can go to college in this country with a reasonable amount of sacrifice. Consider yourself blessed you morons. Most countries make families pay to send their kids to elementary school, and you're whining about college. It's not the rest of the world's fault you were an art major who took classes because they were "fun" or "interesting". I majored in accounting because I knew I'd always have a steady job. And I do. Always. Is it fun and amazing? No. That's what a life outside of work is for. You don't get everything you want. That's life. The library is free, student loans are 5%, you can find the answer to almost anything online. Unless you have a family or health obligation, there is NO reason you can't get a piece of the warped "American Dream" I keep hearing about. From my perspective, many in this country seems to ridicule and scorn the "rich" for having things handed to them on a silver platter, while they themselves lounge around in their laziness and feign surprise when things aren't handed to them too. What did you expect? You want something. Go get it.

    Obviously there are exceptions and families legitimately struggling to get by. But if I hear from one more friend that she chose community college because she just doesn't know what she's "passionate" about yet, and then drop out to waitress full time because the money's better and you know, she just wants to like, take it easy, all I hear in my head is another loser whose going to whine about how hard it is in 15 years when she's still waitressing and doesn't have any options left. Gee, ya think?

    June 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  47. Ted

    Bond slavery is wide spread in many hindu and muslim countries. In the U.S. if you can't pay a debt ,you have several options.In India and many other countries there are only two options.Pay the debt or work it off.OH there is another.Go to prison. This is from your enlightened countries.Maybe the U.N. will send air strikes to end this injustice.I think it's horrible but these countries must clean their own houses

    June 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Ridiculous article is ridiculous

      The author doesn't know sh!t what he's talking about. The bonded labor class is great as an exotic story, but the truth is, most of the laborers have sufficient rights in the 'South Asian' countries. If the laborer is not educated, and decides to take everything his owner says as the truth, then hey, something's wrong. Don't blame the state for personal character flaws.

      (the author only spoke about India? Is that a personal bias? Since he appears to be of Indian origin, research seems to have been vacations back home? Is the author propagating misrepresentations just to retain funding for his fellowship? And how did he, the author, 'estimate' the number of indentured laborers? Please report on the statistical accuracy of your measurement techniques, otherwise you are just another beggar that wants the US gov to fund UN)

      June 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • Kay

        @Ridiculous article is ridiculous

        As long as you're demanding substantiation, how about you substantiate YOUR claim that "most laborers have sufficient rights in South Asian countries"? Oh...and how about providing us with documentation that those rights are actually enforced because, without enforcement, those "rights" are meaningless?

        June 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  48. Ted

    Ali: vulgar and profane language is the VAIN attempt of a feeble mind to express its self.I hope YOUR children don't read your post.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  49. bao

    I don't see how this is any different from Student Loans, Home Loans, Medical Loans.If you don't pay those off you get everything taken away from you. Education, Housing, isn't a right but neither is Marriage. Anyone loaning you money is going to exploit you as hard as they can.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • koranist

      if u can't see the difference, u need tore-read the story or take some reading comprehension lesson's.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  50. koranist

    These shittty Asian countries should as a bare minimum educate these poor soul's about these slave loans and if possible help them avoid them.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  51. Informer

    This happens all the time in the United States of America. It's called Alimony. Only, you don't have to owe the slave owner anything. In fact, you could have provided the slave owner with a lavish lifestyle and be forced into slavery for doing a good deed. Alimony violates the 13th amendment of the Unite States and CNN never does any "Freedom Project" stories about it.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  52. Anonymous

    You need to walk a day in their shoes to really understand what it is like. Sitting on your desk and making snide comments, you have no idea how hard it can be. I cam to the US as a student and there were days when I had to wonder where the next meal would come from. Thanks to Snicker bars I was able to get by college.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  53. 2cents4free

    Sounds like a credit card I owned.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  54. Jeff

    Easy. Throw off the yokes of slavery rise up, There are more slaves than masters. Rise up, take down those opressing you and your family. If they could get a little hope and knowledge they could end this for themselves. I weep for them and hope for a change.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  55. WhoCares

    Wealth is concentrating. I want soma dat monkey sludge.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  56. Karl

    Hold on. Do you think "The worker's should control the means of production"? I wish someone would have suggested this sooner.

    June 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • Exactly

      Good one!

      June 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Yowzzzer

      Karl said, "Shouldn't the worker's control the means of production?" Uhm, shouldn't the worker's *what* control those means? There is a missing word. Shouldn't the worker's dad control the means of production? Shouldn't the worker's boss control the means of production? Which worker are you talking about, and what does he have that should control the means of production?

      June 5, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
  57. bullsballs

    no one will rise up and fight, the slave lords have the politicians and police to back them up.
    and in amerika, the beer swilling boob tube netizens don't care as their beer supply isn't under attack...

    June 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  58. koranist

    THOSE DARNED ISRAELIS ARE AT IT AGAIN!
    ISRAEL'S IDF MEDICAL CLINIC STARTS WORK IN TSUNAMI-STRICKEN MIYAGI
    PREFECTURE OF JAPAN
    CNN: " Israel is first to set up Surgical Unit in Japan "
    The Israeli clinic includes orthopedics, surgical and intensive care
    units as well as a delivery room and pharmacy.
    The delegation includes 50 doctors.
    They brought with them:
    1. 32 tons of equipment
    2. 18 tons of humanitarian aid-10,000 coats, 6,000 gloves and 150
    portable toilets.

    NOTE: With all their billions of "petro-dollars", where is the
    humanitarian relief from the Arab countries?
    They don't help others in need,–instead, It is being invested in
    death, destruction and mayhem throughout the civilized world.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • tom

      those billions of dollars are being used to convert poor, desperate people to islam

      June 4, 2011 at 1:24 am | Reply
  59. GOPtoo

    Sounds like the same economy the GOP wants in the USA. Care for the rich corporations! They are soooooo sooooo poor off.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  60. Don

    He should of defaulted on any loans and bolted years ago.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • imastarchick

      Where would he have bolted to? On what money would he have bolted with? What would the lender have done to the rest of the family if he bolted? Who would have better helped him somewhere else without doing the same thing? Sometimes we forget the meaning of freedom we have here in the USA. Banks and credit lenders are getting their hooks in us, but we are still free to shake them!

      June 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  61. lobos

    So did CNN pay his bills and free him and his family, can they give us a way to help? I hope so...

    June 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  62. Service Member

    US Military has been in the process of slavery for years. You sign a contract that once you sign it you can't get out. If you do get out you are tossed in to jail. Then you finish your time, if not more time, behind bars. You may think that the military is just a job, it is not. We can't leave if we want to. Enlisted men and women are slaves to the government. We are entrapped in a system that keeps you hostage for 8-30 years. Let it be known that when you do get out that your subject to recall at any time. Navy calls it fleet reserve Army, Air Force and Marines retired reserves. They can recall you any time they want and if you don't show up you go to jail. The rest of the world isn't the only ones promoting slavery the US Government is pushing it as well. A truly free system would let their people go when they feel what their doing is either wrong or they don’t want to do their job any more.
    American citizens throw out words about honor, dignity, and integrity. What honor is there if a man is forced to work with the threat of jail if he does not work? Where is the dignity for the country making it’s people work under a threat. Where is the integrity in a system that pushes freedom and democracy if you can’t let people go if they realized they made a mistake or are at the end of their road and need to get out of the system?
    Not that posting on a message board will matter. The US Government will still say they promote all volunteer military but truth of the mater is a real volunteer and un-volunteer them self’s if they feel the job their doing is wrong or they do not want to pursue the current job their doing.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  63. Dutch

    I read about something similiar in India only the family worked as brickmakers and their 5 yr old daughter had to work also. I thought about contacting the reporter and seeing if I could pay off the debt for them. But I tried to look ahead. If they paid off the debt, would they still have a job? The brick company has, in effect, free labor and certainly would not pay the family if they could avoid it so the family would be homeless and jobless. What I thought would be an act of kindness would be the opposite. I don't know the answer.

    June 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  64. dolinjolby

    uhhh... this idiot should just default on his debt. lol retard.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • pfft

      I guess he has more integrity than most US corporations.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  65. IRS-Slave

    I skipped filing a tax return for a few years in the late 90's and early 2000's' The IRS waited nearly 10 years right up until the statutes of limitations nearly ran out before they garnished my wages. I make roughly $25,000 a year. They said I owed $10,000 and took $500 a month for a year equaling $6000 and I switched jobs and lost them for about a year and a quarter. They finally caught up to me and levied my income leaving me about $380 a month to live on and I became homeless at that point. I let them take what they wanted for 6 months which was over $7500 and at that point left me owing them around $2000 or so I thought. I then made payment arrangements of $125 a month and have made all payment on time for more than a year. I had a tax return of over $1000 this past April which they took of course. I called to find out what my balance was thinking that I must have put some kind of dent into my debt and I still owe over $10,000. I have insisted on knowing what I am paying in regards to fines, fees, penalties, and interest. I am accruing $480 a month in interest and $180 in penalties every month. By this time next year I will owe $20,000. I can't afford to give them more. I am a slave paying for this countries war machine and I have even considered ending my life due to this. I have lost my way regarding my pursuit of happiness. The American dream for me means being born into debt. I own nothing and watch as corporate America gets a free ride. I know I should have exercised more financial responsibility but I thing as a race we spend too much time worrying about what our future will hold and whether we will be able to afford the future. Life isn't supposed to be so stressful. We should enjoy our lives and our so called freedom.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • 1alan1

      You need Patrick Tax of Cox masters, he'll fix your taxes!

      June 4, 2011 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • DB

      Get a Tax laywer!

      June 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
  66. Sudeep Nepali

    FYI the footage of the carpet piece is actually shot in India and not in Nepal. Please get your facts right, CNN is a reputed news channel and we in the third world view it daily and have a high regard for this news channel. But when you make errors likes these, we again have our doubts.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  67. Q1

    Bonded slavery = US family law system

    June 4, 2011 at 12:23 am | Reply
  68. Jobu

    It's only the western world that truly cares about human rights. The rest of the world is unabashed in the low value assigned to human life. Unless you're a republican – I believe they come from India and China, or some other hell-hole.

    June 4, 2011 at 1:04 am | Reply
    • seppe

      This is the best joke on this blog,human wright in the western world,WOW, it is a good line but don't fly.

      June 4, 2011 at 4:05 am | Reply
      • JaylikeBird

        Your incoherent English makes your comment a bit of gibberish. Please rewrite and resubmit.

        June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  69. Hoshe

    I'm sorry I am still paying student loans and other debts. But my situation doesn't really compare. And while we are talking working to live and not the other way around, bottom line is that we still have it much better than they do. Our living conditions are much more habitable than Southeast Asia. We live in much bigger and nicer homes. The laborer probably lives in a small house that's a fraction in size of ours. We have cars. I'm willing to be these laborers don't. We have medical insurance available. I'm thinking from this article the laborer doesn't. We get just about all the food our little bellies can handle and then some! The laborer and his family gets barely just enough. I'm sorry to say but if you are comparing your overall situation to this laborer, even though we ALL accepted the debt on our judgement, then you should probably get down from your high horse and get real.

    June 4, 2011 at 1:48 am | Reply
  70. sagacious

    Resource based economy & population control is the solution for the woes of humanity.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:36 am | Reply
  71. 2bits

    For all it's technological savvy, India is still locked in the stone age along with Pakistan.

    June 4, 2011 at 3:30 am | Reply
  72. readthose

    And ofcourse the only and obvious reason why such injustice is done is because of but one thing : INTEREST.
    Remove that sh*t from the equation and almost all poverty in the world will cease to exist.

    June 4, 2011 at 3:40 am | Reply
  73. seppe

    So much wrangling about,student loan and percentage and planing, and being wealthy etc .etc.etc.the bottom line is that even if you do all that good stuff you steal have a dilemma,example just one of the many,FAU=Florida atlantic university,graduate approx.26.000 of young man and . per year ,but then it's no work for the majority,and that is only one university,do the numbers,

    June 4, 2011 at 3:57 am | Reply
  74. Kme

    No story here; it's standard practice to owe a debt in all of the developed countries including the EU and the US. You are assigned a debt at birth and tagged with the Social Security number(TAX ID number) or debt & control ID. It's up to you if you have the will and power to avoid these control tactics. I have avoided them for about 16 years and it feels good.

    June 4, 2011 at 3:58 am | Reply
  75. Nick

    I can't believe what the comments has steered the story into.... this is the story of a person who cant even put food on the table (he probably wont have that) every day. Dont have clothes on his back... average meal for him would be boiled rice with some salt and onion... This person lives in India there is nothing like a free Emergency room here, you wont lose someone to something as simple as a fever... yes you Americans would end up paying medical bills but thats what you get for a capitalist country....
    You morons are comparing yourself to him.... I cant believe it....you Americans think that you are the most educated, least paid and most under appreciated workers... this is the reason all the jobs are getting shipped to other countries.... there are people who would do you job for half the pay and be happy about it so that they can feed their family.

    You want globalization... well you got it start competing with Chinese and Indians and stop crying.
    And for god's sake stop comparing yourself to this person sitting in your temperature controlled houses and comfy chairs and browsing internet. go live his life for a day and you would know.

    FYI.... I am an Indian who studied in USA paid it off ( all $50K of it) worked in US for 7 years and came back.....and guess what working for an American company in India...... stop crying buckle up change is coming.....

    June 4, 2011 at 4:28 am | Reply
    • Michael

      I totally agree with you. Fat, lazy Westerners making comparisons of their "hard" lives is ridiculous.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:37 am | Reply
    • Dave

      I agree. It is disappointing and disgusting to see how this story of a man's struggle that represents others globally has turned into a "woe is me" complain-fest. Humans are all programed with a "woe is me" mentality. Westerns just have no filter that keeps it to themselves. What you seen in them is what is in everyone, they just have no care to restrain these things. It is like looking at the core of humans exposed and walking about. We all have these tendencies, and THAT is why these problems never go away. Not enough people bother to go above those tendencies to care about others the way the would want to be cared for.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  76. sneezers

    This guy sounds like someone who could use some real help. Does the author know how much he owes? Maybe take up a collection and pay it off. It probably isn't more than a few hundred dollars.

    June 4, 2011 at 5:16 am | Reply
  77. Kobby

    How can I help to repay some of their debts?

    June 4, 2011 at 5:31 am | Reply
    • Julia

      Yeah to Kobby...the only response to this article worth reading. If you find out how to help this man, please let us know.

      June 4, 2011 at 6:57 am | Reply
      • Marie

        international justice mission - http://www.ijm.org - great work in freeing slaves

        June 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  78. Michael

    "Gisele Bündchen to become first supermodel billionaire?" The juxtaposition of that article with this one sum up a lot of what is wrong with the world today. Some earn far too much for what they contribute, while many earn far too little.

    June 4, 2011 at 5:33 am | Reply
  79. yayaodo

    Its unfortunate but they definitely need to be smart in that part, in my land all u need to do is send few emails around the world and well meaning individualls will help you out 100 times more than that dept. i come from a place where you dont need to borrow to build your own house. The internet is meant to help you out in this too

    June 4, 2011 at 5:56 am | Reply
  80. Julia

    The comments on this article really make me sad. It seems as if so many people reading have really lost the point and seem overly consumed with their own issues. My feelings are this....if you have enough money to read this article on a computer and the time to respond back, your life is so far better than that of Haresh and his family that you have no real opinion to give. If each person who has read this article and only thought of himself opened his wallet and took out about $0.50 and sent it to him, then the lives of one man and his entire family could be improved, saved even! Then instead of complaining and blaming everyone else, some gratitude for the little things in life might be possible.

    June 4, 2011 at 6:54 am | Reply
    • sneezers

      The author needed to post how to help this man. He was too busy writing an article and book to tell anyone how to help.

      June 4, 2011 at 7:07 am | Reply
    • Midhirst

      Do you you really think this strategy is the answer? We fix one persons problem in India with $ and then all of a sudden India's feudal cultural system will change. Money to one individual won't solve this problem; if we really want to help we have to change this feudal culture; do you have the stomach to try and do this?

      June 4, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
  81. Enough

    Get over yourselves people. Everyone has the right to his/her own opion regardless of how brilliant or idiotic you might think it is. Sitting on the computer is a waste of time. Go out, do something useful and try to make your little part of the world a bit better.

    June 4, 2011 at 7:01 am | Reply
    • fa_and_kc

      The baby is crying! Why is the baby crying? Because the other baby is crying. Why is the other baby crying? Because the other baby is crying... Oh I see. Your point about making pointless comments applies more to yourself then anyone else.. Humm, go to the book store and and ask for the self help section. Seriously. I read these things because they are amusing, informative and I agree with you just plain dump at times. There are time when I figure I should try the paid news paper blogs just to get away from all the 12 years comments. But to get upset at what I read here I do not think so. CNN keeps it going to just to generate more traffic on their web site so they can charge the advertisers more. Also keep in mind there are paid people out there who post dorkie comments just to keep the threads alive.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • OK Then

      Mr. Gandhi himself said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

      June 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  82. tungi

    india is so poor!!!more pooor then subsaharan africa!!omg

    June 4, 2011 at 7:28 am | Reply
  83. fa_and_kc

    When you buy a shirt at $5.00 from Walmart keep in mind the country it came from and what the people who live in the country have to do to support the manufacturing of the shirt. In this case, the guy is farming so he is helping get food on the table for the people who work in the factories. When you buy that shirt, you are empowering the system that keeps him where he is.

    June 4, 2011 at 8:11 am | Reply
  84. Midhirst

    When comparing financial and cultural conditions between Developed and Developing countries; everything is relative.
    Oh the horror and the dismay!!! If you live in a feudal society, this is normal. What is the fuss all about. India has had billions of dollars of aid; their poor people are incapable of knowing or understanding anything better. Unless you want us to erase India's feudal culture (we have the power), otherwise get use to it. When I give to charities, I only give to people who are capable of helping themselves; India, Pakistan, China belong to cultures who are incapable of helping themselves.

    June 4, 2011 at 8:28 am | Reply
  85. Alejandra

    These are humble working people who, sometimes they don't know better because their situation,these people don't have the knowledge and acess to the information we have, so don't be critical on judgment only.

    June 4, 2011 at 8:41 am | Reply
  86. Vipul Patel

    These are laborer that works in farm they dont know how to read or wright. They can not make their leaving without working in farm. Poor people who does not have any choose, Poor people dont know how to moove from one place to another.

    June 4, 2011 at 8:49 am | Reply
  87. hannsulu

    modern days slavery and the government is doing nothing to help this poor people struggle with their daily life and enslave by bunch of greedy, selfish and irresponsible people.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:07 am | Reply
  88. A. Shiraz

    People of this developed world stop fighting amongst yourselves whether IF there is bonded labor in America with student loans (There is NOT!). If there is tyranny then the people of the world have to unite and help. Anyone in the US can pay this man's debt. I am severely in debt but I can use my credit card to pay it off and set this man free. Let us do that! Let us ask (if we are not so impudent) that India firstly implements its laws which outlaw bonded labor by cancelling the debt of this man and putting the land lord in prison. Secondly we may ask perhaps (if we are not too forward) that the person who asked for the loans and all the people of India follow a one child policy (as in China) and that they stop over reproduction in that region. That region has the highest birth rate and the most dense populations of any country (1 billion people in India and 1 billion in China alone ?! it doesn't make sense). Let us look out for other republics and let us teach the few who are free to stand up for themselves be it the republic of india or pakistan or the us or china or russia or germany or france!

    June 4, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
  89. Frank

    Hey, why so much outrage? We have bondage right here in the United States; it's called credit card debt. The credit companies stalk college students, and many others, most who have no basic financial management knowledge, bait them into borrowing more than they can repay, then jack the rates up over the years (decades!) once they are hooked. It's like having a legal pimp on Wall Street. I know, because this has happened to me. I am guessing I have passed the point where I have payed American Express and Visa more than I have borrowed, and I cannot hope to pay off these vultures the debts until I die. And I know half of American is in the same bondage! And to think it was the financial sector who crashed our economy and wants the middle class to fix things. Time for a change, and not the kind the pusillanimous Obama talks about. I mean French style Revolution. Finally, we need some in-depth reporting on modern, capitalist bondage in the US by way of credit card debt.

    June 4, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • 4u

      The wool is over all your eyes as the propaganda has everyone fooled.
      Misery is an unnecessary human invention and the rich get away with the greatest crimes.
      There is enough resources to sustain life yet the monetary system is set up to fail.

      The media is controlled to make you think others have it worse than you so be happy and believe everything they tell you. The poor are often more rich in life than the wealthy as life should be a celebration not an endeavor.

      You do not need money only food, water, and shelter but even these things you are enslaved too or poisoned from for instance man made E. coli in Germany, irradiated water etc.

      Wake up! NWO wants the world population below 500 million as written in stone in Georgia.

      Inflation is the result of interest where more money will always need to be printed to pay back the original loan since the interest never really exists in the monetary supply until more money is printed to pay for it.

      Change is the only thing constant.

      It took 130 years but America has been hijacked by extremest that for the past 100 years our money is controlled by a Cartel with no Government oversight. If this were not true then the Federal Reserve would be under the Department of Treasury but its not so put it there.

      Realize a cruise missile hit the Pentagon and hold everyone responsible that helped cover up 911. You have lost most of you Bill of Rights since then.

      They don't want you to know about money so that they can enslave you to work.

      You are all blind, focus on moving forward and hold people accountable, It was the Limo Driver that held the fatal gun that shot JFK, LHO was the fall guy just like Bin Laden, No trial in either case because dead people don't talk. Just in case they do they get rid of the brain as well in both cases again.

      June 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • Kay

        Anyone who takes the "Georgia Stones" as evidence of anything except for a looneytoon with extra money to spend has got to be pretty looney himself.

        Seriously. This "New World Order" you're so frightened of? It's so powerful that...that...that it had to hire a stonecarver to put up granite stones in rural Georgia to get its message out??? Even the stones say "Sponsors: A small group of Americans who seek the Age of Reason" Does that sound like the dreaded "New World Order" to anyone?

        I particularly enjoyed your "...dead people don't talk. Just in case they do, they get rid of the brain as well..." Uh..."they" have to get rid of brains "just in case" dead people *might* talk?????

        Please, oh please, oh please...start taking your Respirdal or Abilify or Seroquil or whatever other meds they've prescribed for your paranoid schizophrenia. They *do* help and you are *not* "cured" without them.

        June 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  90. johnny

    We have the same type of slavery going on in the USA today. Though the numbers are different, is the situation really any different than being saddled with $100K+ in college loans when you are 18? Most 18 year olds do not understand the trouble they get into when they are told to sign the loan papers and end up working a significant portion of their lives to service these debts. Same exact situation.

    June 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
  91. GEORGE

    65% of Americans in the US die relying on the US govt for assistance. Without the GOVT they would be in the same boat as this guy. The american dream go to college get a loan and work it off the rest of your life does seem like a far reaching argument. These people live in the most extreme of poverty, we create our debt from greed. This man did it to survive. Big difference

    June 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • By_All_Means

      GEORGE, GEORGE, GEORGE
      to get married.
      to get married.
      to get married.
      he took a loan of approximately $110 from the local landowner to get married.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  92. DB

    AS TEF sung, "I owe my soul to the company store".

    June 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
  93. Brian

    Calling all Reporters and interested Congressmen. Hear yea!!!! The same thing is going on here in the U.S.A.

    We currently live under a U.S. Gov't legislatively sponsored debt servitude system here in our wonderful country! Many students find themselves paying massive amounts each month to the State, barely able to pay bills and provide food for their families, to the Dept of Education. These massive payments usually only go to serve interest on debts that only increase year after year with no end in sight. Despite pleadings with our lovely congressmen, nothing is done. And thanks to Sen. Jeff Sessions sponsored bill in the late 90's, students' can't even file for bankruptcy to seek inescapable debt relief from these Gov't sponsored loans. In effect, it is U.S. Gov't lifelong inedentured debt servitude to the state. There is also no time limit on these debts. Over 1.2 million students in the U.S. find themselves in this shocking debt to the state.

    June 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
  94. DB

    I see some references to our economy pricing being out of control. Why do you think that the government took us off the gold standard in 1932 and the silver standard in 1959? It was to debase the monitary system of the USA. Today our dollar is a Federal Reserve Note, which is a promissary note of value. Who determines the value? It is the Federal Reserve and the exact people that congress put in charge of our economy! Who is that, the major banks in the USA! So what are they doing, cheaping the dollar through inflation. In other words you save $100 in an account but next year it is only worth $80 in buying value, so the Federal Reserve stole $20 in buying power from you and that my friend is inflation. The only way to correct this problem will be for Congress to eliminate the Federal Reserve, take back what is their job, rebase our money to silver, gold, or other precious metals which remain constant in value and instantly stabilize the nations economy. You are a merchant. Times are rough. You have an item for sale and a person comes to you and has paper from the Federal Reserve and you know it will lose value like a new car when you drive it off the lot, and you have a person that has gold coins that will appreciate as the paper apparently depreciates overnight. Which person are you going to sell the item to? What monitary system are you better off in? Which monitary system are the banks better off in? Why do you think we are in such a pickle today? The banks, insurance companies, wall street, and other major investment firms got to greedy and screwed the pooch. Do they pay for their errors, no we do. Why, becasue Congress is to busy screwing us from their end to pay attention to the people they deligated to do their jobs. Who is at fault here, IT IS US! We allow these idiots in Washington to continue the inept and outrageous behavior they freely manage to get away with when we should be watching them like hawks and getting rid of the incompetent ones at each election. Ok, I will get off my soap box for now.

    June 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
  95. Roman Gil

    What Economic Recovery? Let's Get Doped Into Foreign Affairs to Forget the Failing Economy.

    In May, the American economy added the insignificant number of 38,000 jobs. America is overpopulated with over 311 million people (nobody knows how many illegal aliens) and cannot support its own population, but millions of new illegal and legal immigrants arrive each year. There is no industrial plan to bring back the millions of jobs and industries that global corporations exported and continue to export.
    My blog has solutions.

    According to the US government's own statistics, 36% of men 16 to 64 years old are out of the work force. Most don't count because they are not looking for work. It takes money to look for work, after a while people vanish from the unemployment statistics.

    In my blog, I loaded George Washington's "Farewell Address" advising America. I highlighted the parts that we are violating. Communist China is following this advice and we are committing the folly of ignoring it. My blog contains solutions to our problems that the politicians have failed to implement.

    While we drop bombs in Muslim countries financed with debt money, the Communist Chinese announced that they are buying large amounts of European government debt and that they opened a direct railroad linking China with Antwerp, Belgium in Western Europe. Europe is now China’s largest market. Europe is now globalized like America with their global corporations exporting their industrial base to China. Last year China announced that they have a controlling interest in Iraqi oil and are receiving oil from their Iraqi oil fields. The Communists understand capitalism better than we do and that economic power controls governments.

    In the USA, only 9% of the economy is industrial. 76% of the jobs created during the "recovery" pay $9 or less per hour with little or no benefits. 47% of American households are too poor to pay income taxes. The Federal Government must beg and borrow $1.65 trillion dollars this year. Many States and local governments are bankrupt. Local Property taxes are crushing the middle class in many States invaded by illegal aliens. Their children consume Medicaid and school services. Bankrupt States like New York have dumped welfare Medicare costs on the counties.

    In Europe from Spain to Greece, people are protesting that they have no future because there are no jobs. Europe like America exported its industrial base to China and Third World cheap labor countries. European governments are as deep in debt as America and their economies are failing under globalization.

    Obama got us involved into a third Muslim war to get us deeper into the Israeli-Muslim conflict that caused us to inherit Israel's enemies. The "war of Terror" has cost us in ten years $5 trillion dollars and now a powerful special interest group of war contractors will keep a permanent debt financed war going until we are in debt slavery.

    Roman Gil
    http://roman-gil1.blogspot.com

    June 4, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • chris

      the chinese can get away with this because they don't have to play by all the rules we do here in america thanks to unions, and special interest groups.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • sneezers

        yes if the chinese currency went up to where it is supposed to be, things would be a more even playing field

        June 5, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • Mr. Smart

      $5 trillion is your favorite man G. Bush's contribution to the debt. Obama is smarter than G. Bush by making NATO the parter of the third war.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  96. dbla

    Cool! Where do I get one?!

    June 4, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
  97. Banks_Suck

    Usury is immoral. It's not just in Asia. In the US, people go into debt to the banks for life to go to college, and then fall into the debt trap again to buy a home and again to the credit card companies when they need groceries. The rich exploit the other 99% of us. It's time for the world to wake up. Slavery never ended and it's not just in the 3rd world.

    June 4, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • dbla

      Yes, those immoral banks forced you into a loan! You needed that money for basic necessities like a computer to browse the internet while you drink coffee on a Saturday afternoon.
      I hope you can see the difference between the slavery discussed in this article and moronic 'westerners' voluntarily taking out a loan and then spending the money on computers, TVs, a car and a cell phone.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • By_All_Means

        Or approximately $110 from the local landowner to get married.

        June 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • DB

      1. Do all of us need to go to College? College has turned into a maturning field of party animals, where kids go to try and learn to be on their own to a degree away from Mom and Dad. Perhaps not all of those that think they need to go to college should be there racking up a debt against themselves. Maybe a local community college trade school is all that is needed where the expense can be controlled.
      2. Not all people can afford a home. What happend to the prequalifications? Remember what the Clintons said and the problems it caused? They said everyone regardless of their income can afford a house/home. Guess what, the realistate market is over run with repossessions of homes where people could not afford the home they bought due to the creative marketing and financing to get the people in there to begin with. I won't even mention NAFTA and the Most Favored Trade Nation Status to China that they did to us.
      3. Credit cards are a self control item which should be limited to those that have self control. If you cannot control your spending habits or have to have the latest gadget then you should not have a credit card. Instead use the old saying, "If I canot afford to pay cast for it, then I cannot afford to get it now" Just becasue you pay for it on a credit card does not mean it is free, it must be paid off at a later date at a higher price due to interest being paid on the cash loan you just signed your credit away for.
      4. Groceries on a credit card, refer to number 3 answer and also learn how to cook outside the microwave oven. Raw materials cost a lot less than prepared food, are more healthy to eat, and still fill the bill. You can cut your grocery bills down by 2/3 by doing just that one thing. Instead of soda drinks, drink water out of the tap! Do not drink booze or beer and of course stop going out to lunch, dinner, or stopping in in the morning at Starbucks or at McDonalds for Breakfast.

      The rich only make money off you when you allow them to. Don't cooperate and you will save money, lots of it too. Don't be a slave to your own stupidity and lazyness.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • dbla

        DB, I agree with your common sense!

        Let me add
        1) If you are focused and goal oriented, then go to college. I took out $20k of student loans (in the 90s) and because of my degrees I now make that in a month or two.
        2) Don't hate the rich, try to become one of them. Focus, study and work hard. Think long term.

        June 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
      • Mr. Smart

        You don't need to go to college. I have college degree and you work for me

        June 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  98. Glenn

    For the more heartless out there, consider just the basic facts that a person, such as this Indian, may find himself in when he grows up. If the basic cost of living, even a meager one, is higher than the income doing the best full time job that an uneducated peasant can hope to get then that peasant, and every one like him, will be accumulating debt every day of his life with no real way out. The wealthiest in the society are responsible for both the basic cost of living (including servicing deb) as well as setting the wages. Noone is getting handouts, noone is being dumb, and yet the cycle will persist for these poor people. Get off your angry-man republican horses and see things realistically for once.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • DB

      Is this like when I call for computer help and the person on the other end of the line is from Packaistan, India, Indonesia or where ever? Why am I talking to them? Was that job not here in the USA before it went over seas due to the nincompoop in Washington DC's actions? So now, our society here in the USA is suffering becasue we shipped our jobs overseas and upset the structure over there. That is the way it has been over there for hundreds of years, do you think we are going to change it? Do you think we have the right to change it? Do you think we have the capability to change it? Do you think they want it changed? It is their way of life and we should keep our noses out of their business, rules, and society. The world may not want to be like the lazy, complaining, meedling political groopies in Washington DC. Look what Washington DC has done to the rest of the USA over the past few decades, nothing good that is for sure. Congress is not doing their jobs, congressmen and senators are getting caught with their pants down, greed, collusion, and incompetance abounds within the hallowed halls that our forefathers served and in many cases gave their lives for. We are allowing the 522 federally elected officals ruin the USA as it has been for over 235 years at a rate that is totall unheard of. Who is at fault, US for keeping the incompetant in office. Clean sweep at election time.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • Stan Musial

        DB, cretins who endlessly plss and moan about 'duh gubmint' are the biggest suckers around. They are being played like a cheap ukulele by a religion of cynical greed known as corporatism.

        I spent 30 years in the banking industry; I've been where the real enemy is. The entire history of banks shifting consumer lending into credit cards had to do with creating a permanently indebted class who would *always* be paying interest. It's not even evil. It's just small-minded and greedy.

        June 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  99. midnitejax

    I see some ridiculous postings here about comparing student loans and mortgages to what these people in Asia have to deal with. Taking out loans to purchase a home or further one's education is for comfort and profit, not a smatter of survival. One can rent, and one can graduate from high school and seek employment. When "Bonded labor' or indentured servitude as I would prefer to call it, is supported by the international community that is controlled by businesses, what chance do you have? In the US we have high paying jobs that were outsourced to nations that practice the "Bonded labor" approach to reign in profits never realized in a free enterprise system. Pay Day Loans among many other loan sharking outfits, are allowed to reap outrageous profits not seen since the mob was prosecuted by the government.. As long as the government gets their cut from the profits thru taxes, they couldn't care less about reigning in these operations.If the mafia had only paid taxes, they would be free to operate as they see fit without so much as a second look.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Shati

      I agree generally with midnitejax. I am aghast at the utter insensitivity of some of those leaving comments here to the distress that a West Bengal person has suffered all his life. Shame on you. While on this, I disagree with Anurag who says that India has no bonded labour. There is nothing formal as law is against it. But it survives because many people have no other source of help due to their sheer ignorance, no required govt or NGO service. This because while all men and women may be created equal by God, right after birth they become unequal for reasons created by human society-some more so (as in India) than others (as in modern day America).

      June 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • By_All_Means

      Yes midnitejax

      I to see some ridiculous postings here to about comparing student loans and mortgages,
      to This mans loan to get married.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  100. Anurag

    The person who took loan must have taken money for wine and drinks not for family. He must be blaming landlord just to get little help from author of this article. I don't think there is any bonded labour concept in India.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Nick

      Seems like you are living under a rock......

      June 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  101. Olhauser

    Pay cash or stay home. Too many people think of credit as FREE money. It isn't. The need for instant gratification is at the root of the problem. Get some willpower people !!!

    June 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Samson

      Working hard for next five to seven years to educate yourself, I don't understand how is that instant gratification.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  102. 6,000 dollars to go on a 10,000 student loan

    Any and every teacher on this board knows what slave labor is all about. By the time and educator gets their Phd..... 100,000 or more dollars has been spent to colleges and universities at 8 to 13 percent interest if you are lucky. For extra credit how long do you think it will take to pay off that loan?

    June 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • BS

      If getting a PhD is not a financially beneficial endeavor, don't do it. Simple.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  103. 6,000 dollars to go on a 10,000 student loan

    Interest is not the problem... its only a symtom of the bigger problem of debt to income ratios in the U.S. Until Americans make more money or inflation comes down..... we are all slaves to our own needs.... an there is always going to be someone ready to profit off of that need.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  104. morris diehl

    Oh poor fellow, sort of like the rest of us in the States. We have scum suckers called bankers screwing everyone they can and because the American dream is dead they are free to get away with anything they want. I am sort of the opinion that we really need a Castro to get this straightened out and we also need to get rid of our Castro after it is.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  105. someone

    I am from India, there is so much poverty in some areas .. I went on national trip during my college trip and images still haunt me 2 decades later. have seen what socialism has done to India.. there is no value of life in the system that is based on so called equality.

    June 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  106. Exactly

    1. Does the pinnacling of human civilization (such as art, literature, science, religion, or "you pick") require strata of classes?

    2. Can one who is enslaved nevertheless be "happy?"

    3. Is it true that "the poor are always with us"?

    4. Does it make a difference to whom or to what one is enslaved?

    5. Should we care about the slavery and deaths of the cows, pigs, and chickens? These creatures suffer horrors even worse than the poor man in the article.

    I would very much like to read what other have to say on these topics.

    June 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  107. kishoregeddam

    Articles like these on slavery and poverty are nice to read.
    I dont know how much time did the author (siddharth) spent with the the family of Haresh? I believe that he has heard their story, felt sad for some time and left to US.
    Back in US like every other reporter you start making nice story and send it to a news publisher. At the end of the day, mr Haresh and his family is still a bonded labor and the news finally ended here in CNN where some readers feel sad for haresh, some people make fun of India and others discuss completely different topic (student loans and labour in US).

    I would have been really happy if the author has put some efforts in protecting Haresh and co from the landlord when he met them, U can complain to the nearby state administration or as a last effort he should have paid at least 50 to 100 dollars to the land lord if u really feel from ur heart that those people are suffering. Donating 100 euros doesn't bring a great a loss for ur monthly budget.

    I definitely feel that we need good reporters and what we read here is a great story, but we should not forget that we are humans and remember human nature of helping others before our profession.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • sneezers

      It does look like exploitation to sell a book or article. Is Haresh a real person or one fabricated for the story? Surely the author must read these comments. People are asking how to help this man and no response. There are some links to organizations in one of the tabs but how do we know where the money goes? There are people ready to help this man right now.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:50 am | Reply
  108. Stephen

    How is this different than what SallieMAE and the private banks do students, in cooperation Congress? I graduated from a very expensive school, only month after 9/11 trashed the economy, and then had a debilitating stroke only a few years latter. The banks have refused to consider any write- off of the loans because Congrees excempted student loans from bankruptcy eligibility, my union has so far refused to enforce the disability settlement provisions of my contract and social security says I don't qualify because I had't worked long enough. I hardly think America is in a position to be morally condemning other countries for not protecting their citizens against the predatory practices of.both private and state lend lending institutions. While Bush and Obama were bailing out the banks and the car companies to the tune of trillions of dollars, my mother' 20-year marriage was spiraling down the drain because she refused to put me out and to not help to keep my almost grand a in month medial expenses (along with loan pays) paid up. The government made sure that Wall Street could keep their second and third homes and luxury cars, we're just hanging on with one shared home and autos that are decades old. So much for, "we're here from the government (or union) and we're here to help."

    June 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Miriam Hamsa

      Yes, it is inexcusable how the government has saddled students with lifelong debt while millionaires can go bankrupt and keep their homes and who knows what else.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  109. Matthew Stephen

    Welcome to the game Haresh. Just substitute landowner with Visa or Bank of America.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  110. Lord Kensington

    The White Man and Colonialism are behind this !

    June 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  111. BS

    Wow. Going into debt to buy a flat screen tv in a highly regulated credit card industry with many consumer protctions is the same as going into debt and becoming a slave with no way out for the entire family and it's decendents.

    Some people are slightly out of touch with reality.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  112. Lemmy

    Eat the rich.

    June 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  113. workhard

    Coming from a "third world" country and having seen all of this first hand most of the responses here seem lame and immature. i cant believe people comparing poverty ( having a proper meal a day ) and being forced into labor to student loans/jobs in the US!!! Your comparing basic necessity to luxury!!!

    June 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • By_All_Means

      To get married is a basic necessity.

      How can he make the descendents / slaves?, to pay for the marriage,
      if he doesn't get married?

      June 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  114. Wealthy land owner

    Where can I get one of these workers!

    June 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • Mr. Smart

      If I can marry your daughter, I will work for you.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  115. Quincey9

    DEAR CNN, If you give a way of contacting this man I'll pay whatever he owes.

    June 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • PAPilot

      It'll never happen. CNN makes way too much money exploiting the poor and defenseless around the world. They tug at your heart strings and then when you go to the store you buy the products that are advertised on this page. You're asking CNN to stop participating and condoning slavery, as they happily do today to make a buck.

      June 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Truth Seaker

      Go ahead, pay his loan and this guy will take another loan next day without thinking how he is going to repay it!

      June 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • Quincey9

        At least he won't be thinking that I judge him. Regardless of things, do you understand that you're talking about a person?

        June 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  116. PooPoo

    Isn't it why we build drones?! Forget the terrorists, those animals are getting away with this crime for decades.

    June 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  117. PAPilot

    So why isn't Obama dropping bombs across south asia? He's more than happy to drop them in Libya to "free the people," so why not Asia as well?

    June 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  118. Truth Seaker

    Well, what this guy was thinking when he took the loan??? Did he have intentions/plans to repay it? What interest any of you, CNN readers, would charge if you knew the guy would take over 20 year to repay?

    June 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  119. JBK

    Debt = Slavery. Percentages = chains. Pure and simple. Whether or not it works for you, it works for me...Paying for stress is lethal......

    June 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  120. memunchu

    Why dosn't CNN do the right thing and just pay the $110 for him. Seriously instead of making money on reporting injustices in the world the responsible thing would be to correct them. And seeing how I will never meet this guy or his family, yet reps from CNN have it seems like they should of done something. I think the real story here is how a reporter and camera guy made money off of exploiting someone who is already being exploited.

    June 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • Miriam Hamsa

      Amen to that. Of course, there are millions, but still...

      June 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • animesh

      At least CNN reporting will bring some visibility to this issue and maybe even manage to shame the landowners into becoming human beings.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • By_All_Means

      CNN can make money on reporting injustices that they have corrected.

      But you have to give a s-it, to not just made money off it.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  121. Stars and Stripes

    Thank God I'm an American.

    June 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  122. Tracy

    I borrowed $110k to put myself through college and I am slave to that debt for life. People ought to stop obsessing over the pity in other countries and consider helping people in our own country with education. I live the f**king American Dream.

    June 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • huey

      If you paid 110k for an education that you can't pay off in 10 years.. your stupid@!!@!

      June 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
      • Stephen

        I assume you won't be going to a doctor any time soon, since you think they are all "stupid."

        June 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • animesh

      What did you study? Did you research job options before pursuing your degree?
      Your have a point about helping focusing on americans first, but i would throw the 110 grand at a lot of other societal issues before paying off your loan.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  123. Tracy

    Also, I don't pity this fool for using the loan to pay for his wedding. That is such horsesh*t. And now his whole family suffers. Maybe he should have put his money toward education...

    June 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  124. huey

    I don't make much money but I'll fork out $110 to cut them loose..

    June 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  125. simpson

    For those that are comparing the bonded/slave laborers in this journalism piece to their student loan debt or credit card debt........are you kidding me???!! You are NOT sending your 6 and 9 yr old children to do bone numbing work in a field or brick factory, to have them maimed by a piece of machinery THEN have to go to the landowner/factory owner for another "loan" to have your child receive medical treatment. You are NOT sending your wife to do a mule's labor in a factory, to watch her body age 5yrs to your every 1 yr. Those women are OLD by the time they are 30 yrs. How dare you........get out of your small world and take a clear look at what lives are like in the rest of the world.

    June 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  126. nic

    Some of you claim human slavery is the exact same thing as alimony, military service, and debt in the US? Interesting analogy, but you -stretching your credit limit to afford that new bedset- and him -trying to secure his next meal? Not the same, guys, not the same. "But I HAD to take out 7675478 student loans, and now I’m trapped!" Sure, and I suppose you also HAD to pick the most expensive state school you could find to have your 7654567 frat parties before you dropped out, joined the military, and got a divorce. Living with “stress” is not the same as living in bondage.

    June 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  127. Mike

    I'll pay the $110. If you can get me in touch with the guy. I'll write the check today. CNN- you can reach me with my non displayed email. This isnt a joke.

    June 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  128. Sharp

    Talk about man's inhumanity to man. The landowner is their answer to the Republicans. This is the plan the Republicans & their Wall St bosses have for your children's future. Take a good long look.

    June 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • animesh

      Totally ridiculous and asinine comparison. And disrespectful to these poor victims.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Reply
      • Sharp

        Wouldn't YOU be the asinine & disrespectful one? Oh & a Republican to boot.

        June 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  129. aaron the canuck

    Ok, here's my $110.00!

    June 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  130. animesh

    Why can't we shoot all these so called land-owners..
    Where aren't the friggin' naxalites getting involved?? And what about the scummy cops. This story is so depressing.
    Its the 21st century people!

    June 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  131. Rey

    The title of the story is mis-leading to sensationalize it. If you read the story, they actually kept on borrowing money, one after another. They have no way to pay it back but with cheap labor.
    I guess the moral lesson of the story is to live with-in your means

    June 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  132. animesh

    Great Job CNN!
    You face a lot of flak when you run these stories, but maybe some douchebag bureaucrat sitting in his plush delhi office will take notice and do something about this....

    June 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  133. jenerous

    The way the headline made it sound this schmuck sold his soul for $110. In reality he took multiple loans. over a period of years. wow. that was really stupid. besides... why doesnt he and his family just get a customer service job for metropcs or verizon? i never get an english speaking person and they would make lots of money?

    June 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Reply
    • huey

      you should listen to a song called 16 tons you work for the mine owner... he owns the store if you can't figure it out past there.. thats your problem..

      June 5, 2011 at 2:11 am | Reply
  134. ag

    I am from India and familiar with what the article says. The laborers/farmers were poor, uneducated and had no clue what they were signing. If they could not pay the interest every month, the interest got added to the principal. The principal kept getting bigger and soon principal+interest was out of reach of the poor laborer. He became a bonded labor. The goal of the village money lender was not to get back his money. The goal was to trap the poor, uneducated person into becoming a bonded labor and acquire his land and cattle.

    To add to the poverty of poor, the ruling class kept increasing the taxes. If you could not pay taxes, they would force the family out of their homes and forcibly take their home and cattle.

    Now fast forward to 21st century US. Does the situation above sound familiar? Just because we have added fancy words like negative amortization (look it up on wiki if you are ignorant), default, repossessions, bankruptcy, putting anti-consumer clauses in fine print...doesn't mean we are smarter. The credit companies do not want you to pay on time, they want interest. The banks do not want your checking account, they want junk fees.

    The government (be it federal, state or municipal or township or whatever) keeps increasing taxes. Fail to pay and see what happens.

    So do not be under any illusion that bad things happen in India only. In India, if anyone is under such a bad financial situation, the government will come to their help. Can we say the same for US?

    June 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • Sharp

      Exactly. So many people are lost in the TV & Movies. USA is the good guys, always a happy ending. Wake up people it is happening here too.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  135. RoJo

    I will say this to everyone who visits this page: If you find yourself defending the employers in this story, you are a sickening individual and are no help to society. Therefore you should be mercilessly shot to death. If you do not have an ounce of feeling for these children and others who are being abused and exploited, you are no help to this society, and you should be mercilessly shot to death. If you in any way defend or uphold this type of thing as "ok" to any degree, you are a sickening and selfish individual, and therefore deserve to be mercilessly shot to death. I'm tired of people defending this. If you defend this, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. PERIOD.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • Sharp

      Hear, Hear; someone with a little heart.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply
      • By_All_Means

        Hear, Hear; Show your love, shoot them all.

        June 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  136. Vegasbohemian

    almost all of the industrialized countries of the world "INVEST" in the education of their youth ALL THE WAY THRU COLLEGE EVEN MEDICAL SCHOOL ETC, bu t we don't..hence we have fallen behind; we ask our youth to be consumers since they are little kids; waste their lives on video games and music videos(consumerism); force them to borrow for their education (those that are driven to study); and then we complain ....we do not invest in the future of our country and instead we support the banks and insurance companies and help them rape our future for their own profits and if anyone challenges these bastions of our society they are labeled socialists and even commies....look at what we have from supporting the banks and insurance and energy sectors....should we not switch gears and invest in education-free education-all the way thru graduate schools...imagine that...we would have the most educated work force in the world....we would once again be the TRUE leaders of the world.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  137. derek

    a group formed..illuminati.. then slavery 1776 -???

    June 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  138. scir91onYouTube

    he shouldn't have gottten married. plain and simple. i was dirt poor in my 20s, eating out of garbage cans from the leftover sandwiches and meals students would eat while i was in college, while working to support my tuition cost. i would shower at the gym where i used a fake id of a friend because i couldn't afford the membership. i was very very poor and never complained. i just worked hard. i am now 34 and just got married last year. i have a happy life, both emotionally and financially, right now. took me a decade to get here. i gave up pleasure in my 20s so i could be secure financially and handle the pressure. this guy wanted to have fun sex with his girl and enjoy the benefits of a wife. well he paid for it and continues to do so. it is his own fault. he should have migrated to a city in india, worked his as s off, sent money back home, saved for a decade or two, and moved out of poverty. A LOT OF people all over the world do this! i don't feel sorry for him one bit.

    June 4, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  139. georgert

    I'm pretty amazed how this article concerning abject slavery in SE Asia has turned into such a pity party from morons whining about how much they money they have to spend to pay off their credit card debt on their flatscreen TV or jetski.

    June 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  140. Mario

    Welcome to the so called largest democracy of India

    June 5, 2011 at 1:40 am | Reply
  141. MoreEnlightenedThanMost

    Slavery exists for one simple reason: Overpopulation – because there are so many people, and many are born in poverty, most of these people are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty which they are unable to break out of, and because there are so many people, it depresses the wage rate for such people, and they have no option but to put up with their so-called "employers" just to be able to survive and not die of starvation.

    Now over-population itself in my opinion is a consequence of the influence of RELIGION. Almost all religions are against
    Contraception, Abortion, Homo-sexuality, say that it's the command of "God" that humans have more and more children. Why? Obviously they are for anything that adds to the population and against anything that doesn't add to the population. Why would they be interested in an overpopulated world? Because RELIGION is the third pillar along with GOVERNMENT & INDUSTRY that manipulate societies for the benefit of those (at the very top) that run these three outfits, the MILITARY being an arm of all three.

    For the very rich and those in power, it doesn't matter whether the world population is 6 billion or 10 billion, they will always have enough for their families and aren't really affected by such shifts.
    On the contrary, more people for them means
    1) a depressed wage rate – ever falling wages – why do you think they like dictatorships where the local populace can be
    used as slaves in the factories these people put up? Obviously because it benefits those in power in both these
    countries
    2) More consumers to buy goods that they produce and want to sell
    3) More people meaning, greater the chances that they will turn out to be wayward, less educated, more gullible, and
    more ignorant, and can be easily manipulated by their masters to do their bidding without much thought – more
    people that can be used as pawns basically.
    4) More people – meaning more voters who will mindlessly vote on issues put forth by corrupt parties that do not
    address real concerns, given that many are ignorant and easily manipulable
    5) More people who can be used as guinea pigs and experimented on by Pharma companies coming out with newer
    drugs to sell to the same MORE PEOPLE!

    Truly, religion is the opiate of the masses – unplanned procreation aka mindless breeding is the result of a deadly concoction – Beer, BBQ, and Bible.

    June 5, 2011 at 1:45 am | Reply
    • By_All_Means

      Hear, Hear.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • EXACTLY

      Dear MoreEnlightenedThanMost, you are one of the few people in this blog discussion who is talking about the real issue. Thank you!

      Actually, the question must be asked to, of, and by the so-called kabals, "At what point does the viability of the kabal kill the whole planet?" or do they have that under control already, too?

      In college 30 years ago I studied how the populations of the world shot up after the introductions of vaccines far and wide. People who would have died of disease lived and reproduced and their children reproduced also, etc. Everyone wants to live. Everyone, including myself, wants vaccines for himself/herself. But billions in population on the earth are such a strain on the planet. Perhaps wars are lowering the overall population. I need to see the statistics. We all like to think we all hate wars. I hate wars. But, obviously someone must like wars – there are so many. Someone must benefit from them and make money off of them, or pehaps some are using wars to control populations, either blatantly (genocides) or piecemeal. And the kooky terrorists are not exempt from this either, just because they are so very peicemeal in their efforts. They are also about killing off their opponents. Maybe there is something in our species that, when there are too many people, sets humans against each other. I mean, look at some of the pretenses for war. In the big picture, some of them are really stupid (although they are be-all end-all to the ones warring), but the end result is population reduction.

      There are efforts of some of the very rich, such as Bill Gates, to immunize and save the lives of even more people around the world. "Every human...right to live a ....life."- that slogan you hear on NPR for Bill and Melinda Gates. Now, he's getting a lot of good personal karma for doing this, but, from the perspective of the planet, shouldn't he give equal amount to the effort of birth control? Maybe he is, but I haven't heard about it, and I doubt I will because that is such an un-politically correct way to go. From an individual's karmic perspective, it's probably bad to interfere with the reproductive karma of others, and yet, who will save us from the overpopulation mess?

      Maybe now there is more than one "kabal": One that wants to maintain the status quo of zillions of uneducated, tv and entertainment-drugged or brutally impoverished slave hordes that support a system that provides supreme, comfort, luxuary, and security for the small percentage at the very top (and to lesser degrees to their lower-tiered puppets) versus one that is breakaway, that realizes that the survival of the human species requires thrwarting the established kabal. Maybe that war is what is raging around us all right now in so many ways.

      I would like to hear what other people think about this.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:20 am | Reply
  142. Barner Vizzel

    STOP BLAMING THE BANKS! THEY NEVER HURT ANYONE!
    BLAME THE SYSTEM!
    BANKS ONLY GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT, IF THEY DIDNT GET MONEY BANKS THEY WOULD STEAL. IT IS EXPENSIVE TO LEND MONEY, CHARGING 25% INTEREST IS A STEAL FOR THE BORROWER. ALL BANKS LOSE MONEY, EVERYONE KNOWS THIS. OWNING A BANK IS A MODERN DAY CHARITY, BANKS DON'T PAY TAXES BUT THEY ALSO DON'T MAKE A PROFIT.

    STOP BLAMING BANKS! BLAME PEOPLE!
    PEOPLE ARE ADDICTED TO SHOPPING, BANKS DONT PUT A GUN TO YOUR HEAD!!

    June 5, 2011 at 1:46 am | Reply
  143. asceticjoe

    The slavery for debt custom is much worse in several other states in India which are very poor due to lack of good education, lack of agriculture caused by little rain and lack of industries.

    West Bengal for which this article is written is among the richest states in India with much better education, several top-ranked Universities (with more than 95% Bengali employees in a democratic country with around 30 states), industries and agriculture. Bengali people are famous in India for deceitfulness and state-groupism. I have heard that one Bengali first enters employment in another state and when he has power, he starts recruiting only Bengali people; soon they have Bengalis capturing the organization and continue with filthy lifestyle capturing other organizations and grabbing lots of opportunities abroad representing India.

    To be precise several other states in India are a little or more like that. People from Maharashtra with a large part of Indian industries and good educational facilities located in Bombay have become famous since past few years for beating and exploiting people from states of Bihar in a democratic country such as India. I also know about a few Indians having really bad time for several years with people from South India that is famous for the computer industry.

    If I have authority, I probably would not let people from third-world countries and countries such as China and Saudi Arabia enter developed Western world and spoil its culture and life with filthy way of living. Only external help to that type of countries should be permitted to help them lead better life. Eventually in future, if even one person on Earth sleeps hungry due to poverty, it will not be the world that sacred Gospels speak of.

    Birds of the same feather flock together: this is the philosophy Western world must adopt.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:10 am | Reply
  144. Mark

    I think most of you are not looking at this correctly.

    What makes this slavery are the conditions that are needed to even come close to being to pay off the loan.

    Here is the reason:

    20 years ago US$110 was about equal to 1 year of living expenses in that area.The man took on a debt of about what a lower economic class person in that area would need for 1 year. Think of his debt as about US$ 35,000 for a person in the USA right now.

    20 years to pay off US$ 35,000 is actually a reasonable period of time. So it is not the amount of time it is taking to pay off the US$ 110 debt.

    It is the conditions that the man and his family need to endure.

    The conditions he endures are slavery by any definition.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:24 am | Reply
    • sunny

      Let me compare Indian situation and American situation...

      He might be poor guy in India and thats how he might have ended up being like that..He does not have option to go anywhere..He is struck and owner might be saying like this is what u owe and stuff..If you have good education you will be alrite ..If your parents,grandparents worked hard and became rich then that guy would have been alrite..depending on ur financial situation and education u have to make steps in ur life..if u make good choices chances are that u will be alrite..u make bad choices then u will have issues especially when parents did not take care.. slave guy he did not have any option or source of income he became like that..

      This is a competitive world and u have to make right choices in what type of job u wanna do ..if u make good choices u will be ok ..i came from india to usa..for first few hrs i payed lot of tution..infact international student tution fees is much higher than americans..when i came from india to study my dad gave me loan like 8000 usd thats like may be 1 sem fees and expenses..i had like 3 yrs of masters degree to do...amex,citibank,ATT helped me initially to pay for my college..they gave me when i had no credit..i did computer science degree and jobs are out in usa for computer science that pay decent..now i get like 100k year..i paid of my loans in 1 year after i graduated..bottom line is that u will have tough time..u got to be correct decisions..what u wanna do job in and how much pay it is..u got to work hard..if u work hard and are lucky u can earn money..u got be in right direction..it is all case by and everyones situation is different..u see people who succed in life and learn from then what they are doing ...thats the clue..dont like at people who are struggling..

      u have to make smart decisions..

      June 5, 2011 at 8:42 am | Reply
  145. Marco

    You are right. We do not enslave generations of our families to repay any loans. The conditions and the fact that without the landowner this man has no way to survive are the problem. In the US, even the uneducated laon seeker (25% student loan) wouldn´t enslave his wife, children and their children.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:28 am | Reply
  146. gwen

    i think that everyone is missing 1 important point here. these people are not educated, have no knoledge of finance, and will always be fodder to the greedy heartless others whose only aim is to get rich at any cost to others.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
  147. kathy

    What I don't understand is why the slave is named -- but the landowner/slave-owner is not! What gives? What genius CNN editor made THAT decision??
    Sara (June 4, 11:58am) and RoJo (June 4, 9:16pm) nailed it. People who compare this situation to their sorry experiences in the West are wholly ignorant of Third World mafia-like "loans." Get a grip on this: the "lender" (i.e., slave-owner) OWNS THE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS - hard labor, 14 hours a day with little food!!! Don't ever think of comparing that to Sallie Mae (who, BTW, ripped me off by $65,000).

    June 5, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
  148. Roelof

    Somehow I don't think a import embargo would help. What we could do is tax those import goods extra and give that money to those families or kids.

    June 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  149. ZZZ

    clearly some ppl above are totally ignorant. borrowing for an education and borrowing $ to cover basic subsistence costs such as food are 2 totally different circumstances. ppl really need to wake up and understand the difference between poverty in the US vs poverty in other parts of the world and how much suffering there is. suffering to most teenagers in the US is not being able to buy a juicy couture handbag..while girls in other parts of the world would love to just go to school.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • By_All_Means

      Yes
      clearly some ppl above are totally ignorant. borrowing for an education and borrowing
      $ to cover basic marriage/Sex are two totally different circumstances.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • By_All_Means

        Yes totally ignorant.

        June 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  150. By_All_Means

    Yes totally, totally, totally ignorant.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  151. WereAllScrewed

    Wow, just reading these comments... has made me realize Idocracy was a documentary on today's US education and culture.

    We're all done. The intelligent have been overrun by the idiots.

    June 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  152. Question

    Isn't that kinda what the Bankers just did to the American People ? Get you to buy something for one price, then pull the rug out as soon as the ink's dry and inform you it's worth alot less. But you still owe the original amount.

    Tell me, can you even ride down the street on a bicycle and throw a fishing line into a pond without having at least 2 licences and a form of identification ?

    What is it you can do, with out permission ? Breed.

    Your just a carbon credit.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  153. Kay

    @e2vern – The very first words of the very first sentence say "A bonded laborer named Haresh in West Bengal, India...". Sounds like India was mentioned to me.

    The article then goes on to say that Haresh borrowed money from a "local landowner" in whose fields he and his family are *still* working 20 years later.

    Come on, now, @e2verne...do you seriously believe the local landowner packed up Haresh and his entire family and moved them to work in fields outside of India? Or that Haresh was simply on vacation in West Bengal when interviewed?

    June 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  154. $

    There are problems with slavery all worldwide. For those that don't know, there are real slaves in the US as well. What happens to migrant workers coming into Russia is horrible as well. "Wage-slaves" and bondspeople are totally different, with the true horrors they endure. But, the need to survive is just as strong. We in the US grow up and learn that without a college education you could live in poverty and the millions working for minimum wage right now are proof of that. The extreme unemployment in the country makes getting a college education seem like the ONLY way to get a job that will allow you to survive other than packing up and moving to the woods. So, the dedicated ones go through college, graduate, and six months later, when loan payments are expected of you and with no jobs in your field of study available, you not only can't pay the loans back, but your broke ass has no way to succeed in a money-based society at all. The middle class will disappear soon. I know too many starving graduates who know too many starving graduates for anyone to tell me different.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  155. Free Us All

    We must free everyone.
    We must remove the stigmas.
    We must not risk innovation.
    Or no Mars for you(sic).

    June 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  156. Victor Nunnally

    Usury is one of the greatest evils of our world.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  157. HENRY ROBERTS

    STUPID NOT POOR

    The difference between americans and these asians is americans are just stupid and the asians are poor and hungry.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  158. sumiko fujitaka

    I guess, we as the firstdeveloped countries created those slavery, cheap labors, or bondage. Depending on cercomstances or economy conditions, we may easily become evil thought. I feel bad to those. But I can't understand why they don't escape..
    When we say "boycott child labor made product", the business easily find a detour. So, we never can avoid the products without stop purchasing any at all.
    And I think India or Bangladesh goverment may be the one, a big problem. I guess, they may be having some slaveries in their homes as house keeping or creaning. When they are not paying the amount they supporse to, who esle can change? Long time, we were told or showed about this kind of stories. But nothing changed. Or any outsider intervene this situation, things get more comprecated or more sophisticated.
    I think, never touch is the best way for them. They are the one to solve the problem.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  159. Ben Shipman

    I read about a similar case in Afghanistan: Guy borrows way too much to get married. It seems typical of people in certain parts of the world to be incapable of examining whether their traditions do more harm than good. OF COURSE you must spend a year's wages on your wedding, whether you have the money or not! Otherwise the neighbors might think you're ...um... POOR or something! Victims or no, the self-defeating stupidity of their culture of pride sickens me.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  160. Bona Note

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    June 6, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
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  162. Lila

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    In the US, we call this a credit card agreement.

    June 6, 2011 at 1:26 am | Reply
  163. JT

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  165. plato

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    June 6, 2011 at 3:04 am | Reply
  166. Nathan

    Conservative Republicans could make slaves out of American citizens legally, they already have the makings in Credit Laws, Loan & Mortgage finances. Now all they need to do is convince you idiots that 8 years of Republican Tax breaks for the rich and corporate greed is not responsible for the economic mess and this country is about to fall onto a depression caused by Obama.
    Then you morons will vote for the same lying, greedy, theives in Congress and put us in a depression for us all, but the wealthy.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:48 am | Reply
  167. Robert

    My mistake, when I read the headline, I thought they were talking about the American student loan program.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:34 am | Reply
  168. Matt

    The comparisons of US economy to this guy in this story is ludicrous. We don't have all our family members working off our personal loan. This guys has his sons and their wives working off this loan at 14 hours a day might I add. We don't have 100% plus interest. Any one who makes this comparison might want to walk a mile in their shoes, if in fact they can afford shoes.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:51 am | Reply
  169. happy

    The world would be a better place if we stopped pitying ourselves and had more compassion for others.

    The nasty comments on this forum highlight a deep problem with humanity. Have these individuals completely missed the point of the article?

    June 6, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply
  170. Tim

    "At its essence, bonded labor involves the exploitive interlinking of credit and labor agreements that devolve into slave-like exploitation due to severe power imbalances between the lender and the borrower. The system persists due to poverty, absence of alternative credit sources, a lack of justice and rule of law, and social acceptance of the exploitation of minority castes and ethnicities that has been prevalent in South Asia since Vedic times."

    This is what the combination of the US government and Wall Street is doing to most Americans.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:15 am | Reply
  171. Granny Andy

    I was in bondage with a "payday loan" from Advance America for years. The interest rate is close to five hundred percent! The store was always busy with all types of people including many government workers. There used to be a cap on what companies could charge in interest. What happened?

    June 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
  172. Title is misleading

    "Since his initial loan, he had taken numerous loans from the same landowner for basic subsistence, medicines, repairs to his hut and other reasons."

    The title of the article leads you to believe that Haresh is in 20 years of servitude for one hundred and ten dollars. As that's clearly not true, the rest of the article is immediately thrown into question. CNN did a disservice to its readers and itself in trying to drum up a sensational title.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
  173. Phil

    Why are all these "foreigners" complaining about Americans? Fine. Let's pull all our outsourcing from all countries. Really. Make it a federal crime to offshore any and all jobs of any kind. Let's see how those foreign countries fare without that extra work. In fact, why don't we pull all our troops back to the US, and start building missiles again. To hell with treaties, we need to look out for #1 by any means. Oh, that might bankrupt other foreign countries in trying to close the gap? Fine, preemptively strike. We have enough to render the planet lifeless. Detente? Nope. You want it, you ask for it, we'll give it to you. Yeah, a good global culling of the planetary population is good for us. Fewer mouths to feed, less pollution, debts wiped out, and a well-justified feeling of superiority as a result of our exercising our right to be the best. After all, isn't that what everyone is saying? We should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and stop complaining? Ok. Fine. You asked for it. As of today, we start expelling anyone sending money overseas to relatives in ANY country. Today, we stop outsourcing. Today, we stop complaining. Today, you will leave.

    Satisfied?

    June 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  174. john

    How much does he owe now? I would like to pay his debt and tell his landowner friend to F off! In fact if you find the land owner tell him if he needs any money I can give him a similar deal! Only he would have to repay the gentleman in the story I would love to see what he would do if he had dominion over this guy!!
    No matter what side of the isle we sit on it will always be the greatest thing in the world to live in America! Thanks today for all our troops and we should remember those that stormed Normandy beach today along with all those others that work day and night to see that we are free to write about these atrocities!

    June 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • sk

      I like to join you as well.

      CNN- I can pay this small amount so this family can some peace.

      June 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  175. AS

    "It is important to understand: bonded labor is a form of slavery prohibited by international and South Asian law. "

    Will the writer explain what is "South Asian law" ? Last I checked South Asia was a geographical description. When did it started having its own laws?

    Stop clubbing all the nations in "South Asia" together. Use the proper names. Its not too difficult. Is it?

    June 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  176. Rob

    Quote: "To all those that think it's different here and the comparison is ludicrous....

    Have you ever been debt free since you left high school? Do you not work everyday in order to re-pay that debt?

    Are any of you able to just quit work? why not? Because you must pay your mortgage, fix your house, keep the utilities on, pay the taxes and put food on the table.

    How different would your life be if you had no debt. Would you still go to work?"

    I am out of highschool. I owe no money. I earned a scholarship to college, and worked regardless. Am I able to quit work? For a period of time, sure. For rest of my life? No, but then again, I like being able to buy food and such. Technically speaking, I suppose I could rely on food shelters and such, but I enjoying earning what I have. I split the upkeep on a house with a friend. The house is owned outright and is large enough for both of us, in our mid twenties, to have the space we need. I bought a car when I was 16, a cheap $500 used car. A few years later, I bought a nicer, used SUV for $3500. I knew that vehicle would be dependable. I kept it until I had the money outright to buy a brand new truck with the stuff I wanted on it. I drive that truck now 4 years later still. I have never owed a penny on any of the vehicles. As someone who has no debt, I can honestly say, yes, I will continue going to work. It is worth being able to purchase not just the neccesities but the nice things too. I exchange my time at a career I enjoy in order to buy the things I want. I don't buy things I don't have the money for, however.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  177. Jay

    Do I believe what Siddharth Kara writes, or do I believe that he made up this story about Haresh?

    I believe Kara made it up, and I will tell you why. I lived in India for the first 30 years of my life, so I have a pretty good idea was goes on there. Also West Bengal was ruled by the Communist party CPM for 40 years till 2011. When they came to power in the early 1970s, the CPM implemented land reforms where they re-distributed land from the rich landowners to the poor laborers. Over these 40 years, the CPM thoroughly politicized and empowered the laborers, who in term consistently voted them back to power.
    So while the story of Haresh makes sensational reading, the likely truth is that it is just a way for Siddharth Kara to get some publicity and continue his professional advancement.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • nobody

      Doesn't matter how long you lived there. If you never gone to the poorest place and know what it's like. Even if you had, a lot of this is underneath the table. You could live your whole life and not know it. Like in america, there's no way i would know what's going on in some of the ghettos if it's not for the documentaries. Some countries' citizens are good exposing, and some are not. India has the one of the most slums for a reason...

      June 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • By_All_Means

      I think you're on to it!

      Look at the video at the top of the page,
      It's disappointing and disgusting to see how this story and the video,
      leads you to believe with its sensational title,
      that children 1, 2 and 5 year olds are slaves.

      free these people, lol lol lol

      June 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
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  179. sanjo

    What are the expectations of this freedom challenge? If CNN can provide a way for us to make these people free, then then this project has a value; if this is just to show what is happening around the world, there is no point. we need to know how to stop it and free these people. Unless we can make a change to this, this is a pointless challenge.

    June 7, 2011 at 6:01 am | Reply
    • Anonymous

      I agree! I am willing to pay off this $110 loan immediately for his family. Ridiculous how just $110 can bind this whole family into a life of slavery and exploitation.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
  180. By_All_Means

    Look at the video at the top of the page,
    It's disappointing and disgusting to see how this story and the video,
    leads you to believe with its sensational title,
    that children 1, 2 and 5 year olds are slaves.

    free these people, lol lol lol

    June 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  181. By_All_Means

    The children in the video are not slaves, come on!

    June 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  182. Anonymous

    No matter what anyone's opinion are, I would like to pay off Haresh's debt. It breaks my heart that a small loan can bind an entire generation. $110? Are u kidding, let me know how and I'll pay it off immediately.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • kit

      Bless you!

      June 10, 2011 at 12:59 am | Reply
  183. David

    Sounds like he got the A.R.M. instead of the fixed rate.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  184. Stephen (CLT)

    Why borrow....when he does not have a way to pay back??? He lives there and knows the custom of bondage. He chose put his future family in slavery by borrowing the money.

    June 10, 2011 at 7:43 am | Reply
    • Stephen (CLT)

      By the way, folks in the U.S are doing the same thing. Sign a 5-year low rate ARM mortgage and wonder/confuse why it balloons to twice the payment after 5 years. they end up with defaults.

      June 10, 2011 at 7:56 am | Reply
  185. Daniel

    For those who compare the situation in first world countries (not just the USA) remember the two critical differences. This is 'multi-generational' and 'singular employer'. That is slavery. When your children can be held 'in bondage' to your employer to cover your debts to said employer ;while even the combined income of the family is not enough to both cover living costs, reduce the 'capital' on the loan, and provide at least enough income to slowly create savings that is slavery. There is no other word for it. It may not (or has been documented may) include physical violence but that is irrelevant the key is the balance (or imbalance in this instance) of power. Your credit card company can take you to court and force you into bankruptcy. They cannot make you work directly for them, and they most certainly cannot come after your family members to cover your debts.

    So, can living in the USA in the lower middle income and lower income brackets sometimes feel like a trap you cannot get out of? Or worse a slow downward spiral where you fear your children's situation may be more dire than your own? Yes. Is it in any way, shape, or form like the debt servitude being discussed here? No, not even close. Of course, that's just my two cents on the matter.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
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