State level workshop on Children and Mining was conducted at Panna, Madhya Pradesh. The meeting was presided over by the Chairperson and Secretary General of mm&P. The Chairperson introduced the theme of the workshop and why children’s rights should not be neglected especially in the mining areas.
A short documentary film “Falling through the cracks – Children and Mining” was screened and followed by a detailed session on the plight of children in mining areas by the Secretary General of mm&P. Participatory approach was followed in sensitizing the people on violation of child rights in the context of Children in mining areas.
There was a session on the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act and Child Labour in connection with mining. There were discussions on the situation of children in mining areas as it has three aspects to it. Firstly, children (Child Labour) engaged in a hazardous industry. Secondly, those children who are not working in the mines but are living there and thirdly parents of the children who work in the mines. In all these aspects, the rights of the child get undermined. There were discussions on the situation of children in the mining areas and consequences on their education like becoming dropouts, consequences on their health due to air and water pollution, malnutrition issues etc. According to the sources, almost 50% of children across states are malnourished, malnourishment is widespread and acute in mining areas. Panna (Madhya Pradesh) is the state where malnutrition among children is the highest out of all the mining areas.
An important issue that was discussed was regarding the problems & people affected with Silicosis, deaths due to Silicosis. Safety issues of the mine workers, Panna Tiger Reserve Area – Displacement, Migrant Labours and Women’s Health were other issues discussed in the Consultation.