In 2010, 350,000 children were thought to work in the silk industry in India as bonded labourers. That means families are given a payment and in return for which, a child is made to labour for long hours often in terrible conditions. In the silk industry, bonded children pick at cocoons in boiling water with their bare hands. they breathe in smokey fumes from machinery and regularly handle dead silkworms causing infection. Children can be bonded from the age of eight, they work a 10 to 12 hour days and often sleep in the factory in which they work. They rarely have the chance to receive an education. Human Rights organisations have called for an end to bonded labour.
Inspired by a report by Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org.uk) , my story follows Hope Parker, an A level drop out, who unexpectedly is taken on as trainee silk buyer by the highly regarded (mostly by itself) family silk business, The Bennington-Smythe Silk Corporation. On being sent to India, Hope becomes suspicious about how profits are really made. From the back streets of Bangalore to the country estate of Bennington Hall, Hope finds herself caught in a dilemma about her potential role in the complex lives of the silk children.