In the North-Eastern states of Jharkhand and Meghalaya in India, far away from the tourist masses on the beaches, coal is the only source of income for vast layers of the whole society. In a country like India, where corruption and the government’s inability to enforce law blooms, regular folk does about everything to earn money. Therefore, one can easily find the complete absence of environment protection, industrial safety or the ban of child labour.
Many Indians, including kids sometimes not older than eight years, are forced to either steal coal from open-cast mines operated by the government or to work in deep-shaft mines called “ratholes”. In these mines, there is neither ventilation, protection, lighting, support of walls, or heating. It’s cold and wet, and many miners don’t get older than 50 because of lung infections or because they die during work. Most of them live right next to their place of work, exposing them directly to dangerous fumes from coal fires or from the extension of open-cast mines, resulting in the loss of their homes, or resettlement to remote villages.