Skip to main content

Mining is known to cause widespread social, cultural, environmental upheaval, yet its impact on children is overlooked

A note on Gujarat-level consultation on Children in Mining Areas, District Mineral Fund (DMF), and Pandhayats (Extension in Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA):  
One Day State Level Consultation was organized by Samata with the collaboration of SETU: Centre for Social knowledge And Action, Ahmedabad, Adivasi Ekata Parishad and Mandvi Taluka Sarpanch Association with a special focus on children in mining areas, DMF and PESA on 11th June 2017 at JFM Community Hall, Mandvi, Surat district, Gujarat. 
A total of 133 people participated in the meeting. Sarpanches from more than 15 villages, ex- Ministers, teachers, doctors, advocates, media persons, and community leaders participated in the meeting.
The consultation was presided over by secretary-general of mines, minerals and People (mm&P) Ashok Shrimali. He introduced the theme of the consultation and why children's rights should not be neglected especially in the mining areas. Shrimali said that mining has been known to cause widespread social, cultural and environmental upheavals. But, one crucial section of the society that is largely overlooked while considering the impacts are children. 
The plight of children in mining areas has not received as much attention as it demands. This could partially be attributed to lack of awareness of the affected communities who often are consumed in the process of meeting their ends meet. In many cases its apathy of the main stream society pushing the marginalized communities further towards oblivion. 
This lack of interest in one's own well being and that of the family is also a major concern which in majority of the cases could be attributed to lack of awareness and support (legal or paralegal) in asserting their rights as per the constitution.
Amarsinhbhai Chaudhari, ex-MP. and mm&P adviser from Adivasi Ekta Parishad, spoke about mm&P, the consequences of mining on the adivasis, especially women and children. He also criticized the mining companies which illegally occupy scheduled areas and deny the rights of the adivasis.
A short documentary,"Falling through the cracks - Children and Mining", was screened, followed by a detailed session on the plight of children in mining areas by Ashok Shrimali of mm&P. Participatory approach was followed in sensitizing the people on violation of child rights in the context of children in mining areas.
Ramanbhai Chaudhari, ex-tribal affairs minister of state, Gujarat, emphasized on communities' command over natural resources. He spoke about opencast Tadkeshwar lignite mines in Mandvi, Mangrol, illegal sand mining on various riverbeds of Gujarat, especially Tapi river of Surat, even as mentioning the consequences on children and women, especially their health and education. He spoke about how people were being forced to migrate to Surat and Ankleshwar.
Dr Shantikar Vasava from Adivasi Ekta Parishad and Chanabhai Vasava, President of the Sarpanch Association, Mandvi taluka, spoke about the Samata Judgment, Schedule V & Schedule VI of the Constitution and PESA.Amrutbhai Chaudhari, Vice President of the Sarpanch Association of Mandvi taluka, also spoke about PESA and mm&P alliance.
Jagatsinghbhai Vasava, former chief secretary of Assam, present on the occasion, compared the Provisions of Schedule V and Schedule VI of the Constitution, spoke about PESA and the role of Gram Sabhas, negligence of the Gujarat government in implementing PESA, and the Samata Judgment.
Ashok Chaudhari from Adivasi Ekta Parishad and former executive committee member of mm&P spoke about the need to implement village self rule, constitutional debate around it, election of sarpanch in the context of PESA and the role of gram sabha,
Chaudhari also spoke about the ill effects of mining on the whole community, which especially made children and women the most vulnerable, affecting their health, education, finances and family. He highlighted that without free and prior consent of villagers, not a single development project should clear by authorities.
Chaudhary also said thta due to development projects like mining, nuclear power plants, coal based power projects and reservoirs, a  number of families are displaced in Surat, Tapi, Narmada and Bharuch districts.

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.