26th August, 2013, Koderma, Jharkhand; Over 6000 participants from more than 80 villages of Koderma, Giridih (Jharkhand) and Navada(Bihar) including former child bonded labourers, school children, parents, members of women & youth groups and child right activists took part in “Bal Mazdoori Ke khilaaf Jan Samvad” a public hearing on child labour organized by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) at Kushana Village in Koderma district of Jharkhand in collaboration with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), Jharkhand. The participants called for complete elimination of child labour from the region and genuine implementation of Right to Education in the state.
In the public hearing members of Bal Panchayat (Children Council) raised the issues like child labour, human trafficking, lack of health amenities and educational facilities. Children shared their problems and concerns describing how theses problems are hampering their growth and development. Chandan Kumar a twelve year old boy from village Jamtada said “Child labour in Mica mines is still prevalent. For acquiring cheap labour the contactors employ children in these mines. This is not good for children like us”. Seema Kumari, a thirteen year old girl from Jamuniya village said “Children our village have not their received immunization and no medical team comes top their village.” Issues on similar lines were raised by many children and even adults participants voiced their concerns on the subject.
This public hearing was attended by Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Founder BBA, Doctor Yogesh Dubey, Member NCPCR, Mr. Sanjay Mishra, Member SCPCR-Jharkhand, Mr. Rama Shankar Chaurasiya, Chairperson BBA, Mrs. Sumedha Kailash, Director Bal Ashram and other prominent personalities. The panelists heard the issues raised by children and other representatives from the region.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Kailash Satyarthi said “The business of expensive and fancy cars around the world is thriving at the cost of our children and their rights. Multinational firms are minting dollars and our children working in these mica mines are loosing out on their health, education, future and many times their life. Electronic goods are manufactured using that mica which is extracted by children of Koderma, Giridih and Navada as they risk their life doing so. We appeal to the mica mining industry in India to ensure that there is no exploitation of children as child labour in Mica minning.”.
After listing to the grievances Dr. Yogesh Dubey, Member NCPCR said “Action will be taken against every single complain. I direct District administration to act quickly on the complains of non availability of clean drinking water, faulty hand pumps, poor quality of mid day meals, absence of teachers from schools etc. The district administration has to file a report within 14 days”.
Addressing the crowd Mr. Rama Shankar Chaurasiya said “Even today more than 5,000 children from Koderma and Giridih in Jharkhand and Navada in Bihar are involved in mica mining. BBA has withdrawn more than 2000 child labourers from mica mining in these areas in the last 2 years and has facilitated their mainstream education. BBA is committed for complete elimination of child labour and to ensure education for each child. This is only possible with the collective will power and efforts by government, society and especially the business fraternity”.