Skip to main content

None of India's ministries, departments have mining children on the radar: MPs told

By Our Representative
A delegation of two civil rights groups, Samata and mines, minerals and People (mm&P), has impressed upon several of India's members of Parliament (MPs) to discuss and raise issues relating to illegal mining, the Samata judgment, children in the mining areas and the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in Parliament, adding, the issue of involvement of gram sabhas in decision making ought to be central for allowing any new projects in forest areas.
The delegation -- consisting of mm&P's Ravi Rebbapragada (chairperson), Ashok Shimali (secretary general), Deme Oram, Mukesh Birua, Raju Pandara, Shivkumar malagi, and Swaraj Das; and Samata's Mithun Raj, BP Yadav and Sree Harica -- told Kirodilal Meena, MP, Rajasthan, about the need to implement the Samata Judgment in letter and spirit in Rajasthan.
The delegation said, the Samata Judgment, 1997, protects the land of the tribal people under the fifth schedule of the Constitution. Under the judgment, the transfer of land in scheduled areas, which are home to forest dwellers, by way of lease to non-tribals or a corporate entity is prohibited to prevent their exploitation in any form.
However, it was pointed out, more than two decades have passed, but the implementation of the judgment in the fifth scheduled areas has been dismal. The judgment had called for a conference of the Prime Minister, concerned Central ministers, all the chief ministers, and concerned ministers of states to take a policy decision for a having consistent scheme throughout the country in respect of tribal lands.
"Yet, this has not taken place. In this regard, we urged Dr Meena to raise the issue of implementation of theSamata judgment in the entire country which will help in the protection of the tribal community", Shrimali told Counterview.
The issue of children in mining areas was taken up with L Hanumanthaiah, and Naseer Hussain, MPs from Karnataka. They assured the delegation that they would surely raise this important issue in Parliament.
The two MPs agreed that the tragedy is, “mining children” are nobody’s children. Neither the Central ministry for mines and minerals nor their counterparts in states look after the mining children. Even other Central ministries or state departments do not look after children. Ministries and departments of social welfare, labour, women and child development, education, or tribal welfare do not have children in mining areas on their radar.
The MPs were to told, some of the impacts on children include increased morbidity and illness, malnutrition, exploitation and abuse, increase in child labour etc. There is a need for the inclusion of issues related with children in mining laws and convergence of ministries and departments to benefit children.
The delegation asked Mansukhbhai Vasava and Prabhubhai Vasava, MPs from Gujarat, to raise the issue of illegal mining in Parliament. In a reply, the concerned minister had told Parliament that in the year 2018-19 alone 1,15,492 cases of illegal mining had been registered.
Illegal mining has huge repercussions on the socio-economic and environmental balance of the country. The government should take strict measures to curb illegal mining, they were told.
The delegation simultaneously met National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) vice-chairperson Ansuya Uikey and members Hiralal Damor and Mahesh Vasava to discuss issues related with forest rights violations in the fifth schedule areas and other governance issues, pointing out, displacement due to development projects is the highest among tribals.
The commission office bearers were asked to take steps for timely rehabilitation and resettlement of those already affected by mining projects.
"We urged Parliamentarians to raise the issue of involvement of gram sabhas, especially in the decision making in DMF committees. The Chhattisgarh government recently announced the inclusion of two members of gram sabhas in these ommittees. This should be replicated all across the country, we insisted", Shrimali said.
"We told MPs that forest rights has been a focus area of our advocacy programme. The draft Indian Forest Act, 2018 mandates all state governments to hold consultations with all the stakeholders in order to carry out any work related with forests. However, most states have not yet initiated the process. We wanted MPs to take up this issue as well", he added.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”

Degrading conditions amidst Covid-19: Toxic ship at Alang, Gujarat, 'endangers' migrants

Counterview Desk
Evironmental activist Dr Gopal Krishna, who edits the ToxicsWatch journal, in an open letter to the chairman, Ship Breaking Scrap Committee, Union Ministry of Shipping, with copies to the joint secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and other Government of India ministries* has said that there exists “threat to Indian maritime environment and security from viral diseases like Covid-19 from ballast water and toxic substances.”

Human rights 'abuses': Funding to India should be vetted, Greens tell Australian govt

Counterview Desk
A roundtable organised by Australian Greens, which is the third biggest political group in the country, held to discuss human rights situation in India at the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney has insisted that parliamentarians, human rights activists and lawyers should play a more active role “standing up for human rights not just in their own places but also in India.”