More than 5000 children of 6 to 14 years of age have vacated education in mica mining districts of Jharkhand and Bihar.
According to a government survey, more than 5,000 children in the age group of 6 to 14 years have abandoned education in mica mining districts of Jharkhand and Bihar, and some have started working as laborers to supplement their family income. A survey was conducted by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which revealed that last year more than 22,000 children were employed as child laborers in the mica mining areas of Jharkhand and Bihar. In its survey, the NCPCR said it has observed that a section of children in the mica mining areas are deprived of opportunities and have started working as laborers to increase their family income .The survey was conducted in the districts of Koderma and Giridih in Jharkhand and Nawada district in Bihar.
The survey on ‘education & well-being of children inmica mining areas of Jharkhand and Bihar’ originated that 649 children in the similar age group were reported as not attending school in Nawada district of Bihar. Selling mica waste is the main means of income for many families.
The reasons for not attending school incorporated lack of aim, interest and also cases of collecting mica waste, according to the survey.
“Several families do not see the benefit of sending their children to schools and instead prefer them working in collecting and selling mica scraps,” an official said.
“As per the survey, there are 4,545 children in the age group of six to 14 years in the area of Jharkhand reported as not attending school,” the NCPCR said.
It also revealed that the children are habitations of Koderma, Giridih and Nawada.
India is one of the world’s largest producers of mica, with Jharkhand and Bihar being the main mica producing states in the country.
“No child to be engaged in any part of the mica mining process and collecting scraps. NGOs/development agencies should work with the local and district administration as well as with the industries to chalk out a strategy to make the supply chain of mica mining free of child labor. “, the NCPCR said.
The commission suggested strict action against buyers of mica scraps from children and a special drive to abolish child labor should be administered.
“In case of Giridih and Koderma, the under nutrition cases reported in 14 per cent and 19 per cent of the habitations and villages, respectively in the survey area.In case of Nawada, 69 percent habitations have reported that some children are undernourished,” it said.