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This website is one of the platforms to address the challenges faced by the mineworkers in Rajasthan.

This website is maintained by GRAVIS and HEDCON.

To learn about GRAVIS, click on www.gravis.org.in

To learn about HEDCON, click on www.hedcon.org

 
 

Challenges

A mineworker is entitled to 35 rights as per the Mining Act of 1952, Miner Mineral Act of 1955, Payment of Wages Act (mine rules) of 1956, and Rajasthan Miner Mineral Act of 1986. However, the FACT is that none of the 35 rights have been uniormly implemented in the mining sector of Rajasthan. The working hours in the mines are irregular, there is hardly any provision of holidays or weekly offs. There is no policy for medical or maternity leave, and no system for claiming compensation for accidents and occupational health hazards. The rule in the mine is "NO WORK NO MONEY." In addition, illiteracy, lack of awareness about their rights, and poor economic conditions lead to serious health hazards that lessen the longevity of life of the workers. The most serious occupational health hazards are silcoisis and tuberculosis, which the mineworkers acquire from the mines due to lack of on site and off site care and protection. Most of the mine workers are from villages and have an agricultural background. Recurrent drought situations force them to come and work in mines. Due to various needs, the mineworkers end up taking loans. Thus, they accumulate non-repayable debts and as a result their wives and children are also drawn into the mines for faster repayment of debts.

"Saudanram Meghwal was a worker in the mines of Makrana. For some unavoidable reason, he took an advance of Rs 10,000 from a mineowner. With his miniscule wage, it gradually became iimposible for Saudanaram to pay the loan. This forced Saudanaram into becoming a bonded labour along with his wife and minor children."

"Papudi, a 14 year old girl has been working in the mines of Makrana for the last one year. She pushes trolleys heavy with rubble and small pieces of stones. Working 8 hours a day, she barely gets Rs. 40 per day. Still, she is among the lucky ones. For there are many other like Mamta (14 years), who gets only Rs. 10 for 4-5 hours of daily work; and Santosh (13) gets just Rs. 5 daily for 4 hours of work in the mines."

 

"The standard minimum wage for a mineworker is Rs. 60 per day for a normal working day of 8 hours. BUT, in practice, the mineworkers get much lesser, and are not paid for overtime. Basic facilities such as safe drinking water, toilets, and shade to rest are to be provided to all mineworkers as per Artciles 19 and 20 of the 1952 Mines Act. BUT, in reality these arrangements are rarely available. "

Contacts

GRAVIS: 3/458, 3/437, MM Colony. Jodhpur, 342008. Rajasthan, India. Phone: 91-291-2785317, 91-291-2785116. Fax: 91-291-2785116 gravis@datainfosys.net.

HEDCON: 67/145, Pratap Nagar Housing Board, Sanganer, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
302022 Phone: 91-141- 2792994 hedcon2004@yahoo.com