22 Mar 2010


Last week a lot of news alerts came up with Headlines like:

And these headlines made go back to the studies done by us especially a study titled "Living with Stones". This published study was done in 2008 in Gujarat and focuses on children in limestone mines. The report provides an analysis for developing a Child Protection program among such children.


The stone quarries of Gujarat resound with the patter of tiny arms and legs straining to break the large  hunks of stone. These are the children of migrant mineworkers, displaced from their homes, separated from friends and pulled out of school, as their parents seek temporary livelihood in the stone quarries of Gujarat.

There’s a documentary film, which is a part of CHILDLINE report which examines the uprooted lives of these children who are forced , by circumstances, into hard physical labour; in the context of mammoth, financially viable cement industry of India.

The key findings of the study are:
       86% of the children were from migrant families who have migrated from within Gujarat and other states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh
       95% of the children are from landless families
       73% of the children mainly in the age group of 6 to 18 were found helping their parent in mines
       They were found involved in almost all the activities of mining such as breaking and collecting stones, blasting and loading etc
       Both male and female children were found involved in all the activities
       Major reason given by the children for working is poor economic condition. Children do not get wages individually and wages are given to the family
       More than 66% of the children work for more than 8 hours in a day.
       Children suffer from various types of health problems such as cold & cough, skin diseases, respiratory problems, and fatigue.
       About 86% of the children have been injured while working or in mines.
       There are no basic facilities provided in the mines such as housing, toilet, safe drinking water, electricity.
       Aanganwadi facilities and primary health services.77% of the children in mines were not going to school.
        Out of the total children who do not go to school, 33% have never attended and 67% have dropped out for various reasons like migration, family crisis, and school at far off distances.

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