‘Mica‘ is the heart and electronic resistance mineral, well known for its properties and uniqueness all over the world for makeup products, electronic insulation, etc.
We all are directly or indirectly responsible for exploitation of children and their families.You know why?
Because we are using products made by mica such as cosmetic products, toothpaste, electronic insulation or paint and ignoring the dark side after knowing the truth.
The more the shining ingredients are, the more mica is used in it. As an individual, we love to use such products and they become a part of life but the ugly truth is the life of children is taken away by such a product. Isn’t the cost too high and unreasonable?
Dark side of mica mining
As per the report presented by NGO terre des hommes, approx 22,000 children were engaged in mica scavenging. As per the survey of NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) around 5000 children of the age six to fourteen years are engaged in mica extraction. It is the data of Jharkhand and Bihar. Imagine what the real situation would be like?
The future of the nation is in the hands of the children and children are having baskets with a sifting tool in their hand.
The death of a child is a very common instance in Jharkhand and Bihar and other illegal mines. The NGO Children in Need Institute (CINI) presented a 2018 report where 45 children died in mica mining in 2013 to 2018. Even after death nothing changed, the child is replaced by another and stranded child.
Covid and Exploitation of Stranded people
The outbreak of Covid viruses affected each and everyone. Many lost their loved ones, jobs, and slept empty stomachs for many days including the local people working at mica mines. Workers including children work day and night without any guarantee of life and are still getting minimum wage to survive, which isn’t not enough to get two meals a day. However, the illegal mica are being exported through middle men and paid handsome amounts for the same.
Infringement of Fundamental Right
Article 21 of the constitution of India provides the right to life and personal liberty to every person including children but miscreants took away the right to life from them.
They remain in fear of death and if they are denied work, ultimately they will die out of hunger. So, neither the stranded family nor the children have the option left with them. It seems like natural resources became a curse for them.
Apart from this, Article 21 A of the constitution of India states that every child between the age of 6 to 14 years should be given free and compulsory education. But what is the ground reality? Are children getting compulsory and free education? 5,000 children between the age of 6 to 14 years of working in mica mining in Jharkhand and dropped school for pieces of bread. They unfailingly work on a daily basis but still do not get two day meals.
The Forest Conservation Act, 1980 banned mica mining in Jharkhand. The object behind the act was to conserve the environment, loss of biodiversity, and deforestation because most of the mines are in the forest. But the act remained alive in official records only and in ground reality, the mica extraction remained impacting the environment.