Minor Miners, Coal Mining Children, India
64 images Created 28 May 2010
Minor Miners is my ongoing investigation into child labour in Indian coalmines and broader socio-economic realities that force families to use their children as full-time breadwinners doing hard labour. I explore not just the day-to-day conditions of life imposed on India's weakest and most vulnerable, but also the extensive socio-economic institutions that create these dire situations. India has the largest number of child labourers under the age of 14 in the world. With an estimated 12.6million children engaged in hazardous occupations, India's seemingly impressive economic growth of hides the crushing poverty that remain a harsh reality for millions of her children. I have been photographing the working/living conditions of child miners along India’s ‘coal-belt’ and will continue by traveling to the children’s origins, probing the core desperations they confronted, pushing them to taking these steps. Problems like displacement and loss of livelihood in their homelands can lead illiterate, unskilled communities into extreme poverty, driving them to migrate to nearby industrial towns and finally to such desperate measures as selling their children to the mining mafia.