DELHI, INDIA – The smell of burnt charcoal clings to Kalappa’s* skin as he speaks. He raises his eyes and looks at the government official standing in front of him.
“If you hadn’t rescued me, I would have died,” Kalappa says.
Kalappa is one of 16 people rescued from a life of slavery last month in India. Several families—including children as young as 6—were trapped as slaves collecting, chopping and burning chunks of wood into charcoal.