State Level Consultation – Kolkata
State level workshop on Children and Mining, Illegal Mining, DMF and PESA was conducted at Kolkata, West Bengal. 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.
There were discussions on the overview of mining throughout the country, various stages of mining, illegal mining, Samata Judgement, prospects of Tribal Cooperatives and the need for lobbying at National Level regarding Child Rights as they are being violated. 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.
In the consultation at West Bengal, there were elaborative discussions on illegal coal mining in Raniganj, Asansol and its present scenario. There were also discussions on the Rampal Thermal Power Plant at Sunderban and its impact on the local communities, etc.
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.