Child labour

It is heartrending to know that despite several laws, rules and regulations to abolish child labour, several states in India continue to exploit children by making them work in hazardous occupations like rat-hole mining (KT, February 21).

By Jayashree Kulkarni, ?abu Dhabi

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Published: Sun 24 Feb 2013, 8:18 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:47 AM

North eastern region is famous for ‘dated’ method of mining where owners appoint young children to burrow into the extremely narrow rat-hole inside the earth to cut coal. It is exceedingly perilous for the children as there are no safety measures. The use of make shift ladders are not sturdy. They are constantly exposed to coal dust, which is detrimental to their lives, as they can become victims of accidents, leaking of gases, suffocation, injuries and several other grave health-related issues.

It is sad to see coal tycoons accumulating wealth at the cost of young children who are made to work end number of hours, are underpaid and under-fed. Even their basic needs are not taken care of. Most of the children come from migrant workers’ poverty-stricken families. Hence are ready to do any kind of work, as survival is the burning issue for them. But it is unfair and unethical to play with their lives by exploiting them to such extent and meting out appalling atrocities. There is a dire need to revamp the existing laws about ‘child labour’. Prohibition of extracting work from minors by the miners is the need of the day.

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