Skip to main content

India's mining children 'neglected' by govt, human rights activists alike

By Our Representative
Two important voluntary organizations, working in several of the mining areas of India, have expressed serious concern that the so-called “mining children” in the country are actually “nobody’s children”. In a sharp critique, these organizations have said, while the Government of India has not allocated the task of looking after mining children to any specific ministry or department, the NGOs working in the mining areas too have neglected their rights.
An eight-page commentary, distributed by the two organizations, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights and Samata, during the release of a film on mining children in Delhi, said, “The ministry or department that mines does not look after children, and those ministries or departments that look after children, such as Departments or Ministries of Social Welfare, Labour, Women and Child Development, Education, Tribal Welfare do not have mining areas on their radar.”
The commentary adds, “So invariably, children in these areas fall between the cracks”, pointing out, this is happening at a time when India’s richest mining areas are also prone to “high dropout rates from school” and “vulnerability to sexual exploitation and trafficking.”
“What is more”, the commentary insists, “same kind of gap exists between human rights activists and civil society groups as well. Those who work on land rights and mining issues seldom see and therefore highlight the issues concerning children. Similarly, those working on child rights seldom see the impact mining is having on children.”
The documentary film released on the occasion, “Falling through the Cracks: Children in Mining”, has been shot in stone mines of Panna, Madhya Pradesh, one of the rare places where diamond is mined, and Chitrakoot and Shankargarh in Uttar Pradesh. It was released at the India International centre on March 16, 2015 and by Joachim Theis, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF India.
During the film release ceremony, which took place in Delhi, its director, Shibani Chaudhury of NGO Sruti, said, she decided to make the film after she was “moved” by the appalling conditions that the children in the mining areas.
“Despite the United Nations Convention on the rights of children and the various laws ensuring the rights of children there was still this gaping hole that needed immediate attention”, she underlined.
The film, which is based on interviews with mining children and their parents in Panna, highlights that India has a lot of laws, policies and programmes for children, but the mining children are unable to benefit from them. Very few laws provide any protection or relief to mining children in particular or address their specific situation created as a result of living and even working in mining.
The film followed a field research -- India’s Childhood in the “Pits”- A Report on the Impacts of Mining on Children in India – conducted in the year 2010, first of its kind, carried out in eight states - Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
HAQ and Samata have been working with communities, academicians, lawyers and organizations and others at the grassroots levels in these states on issues related to mining and children.
The film acquires significance, says the commentary, as there has been a 29 per cent cut in the Union Budget for children this year. “It now stands at an abysmal 3 per cent of the entire budget”, said one of those involved in making the film, Enakshi Ganguly.
“All flagship programmes of the government like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), and health related schemes, as well as allocations to the key ministries that implement them, stand severely cut,” she added. 

Comments

TRENDING

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.