Rate Hole Minors: Lacking in air and light, there is a constant threat of injury, or even death.
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Inside the coal mines of India, children like Lapka and Bikash work in “rat holes”; tight and dirty pits. Lacking in air and light, there is a constant threat of injury, or even death.
“His eye popped out, when he died he had one eye missing, his skull was cracked”, explains Lapka about his father’s death in a pit accident. The number of children working these mines is “estimated to be 70,000 in Meghalaya” says Hasina Karbith who works for Impulse, a charity fighting the illegal industry of trafficking and child labour in the mines. Many of them are trafficked. Known as ‘rat hole’ mining, children as young as ten are sent deep underground to dig for coal in spaces too small for adults to reach. For those Impulse can help, a new life awaits back home in Nepal. This report follows the rescue of brothers Bikash and Bishal as they experience their first hot shower and school classes. The destruction of childhood through trafficking and pit work is exposed as a horrific crime.
SBS Dateline – Ref. 6099
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