Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation believes that for holistic community development, all stakeholders including government officials should come together to work towards change. We have collaborated with government at the village, block, district and state level to ensure successful implementation of our unique Bal Mitra Gram™ model in the following ways:
Saphi in Nawada district, Bihar and Pasiya and Nalwa in Koderma district, Jharkhand, had three primary schools which were dysfunctional. Teachers’ absenteeism was common and as a result the children would not attend school regularly. There were no secondary schools in the nearby areas and the children who wished to study further had to travel 12 kms on foot. The Bal Mitra Gram™ (BMG™) team and 20 community members met the District Magistrate (DM) of Koderma and Nawada and shared their problems.
The DM promised that two schools would be upgraded to secondary level and a new primary school will be constructed. It took 20 days for the community’s efforts to bear fruit and today the children are able to complete their education in their own villages.
The International Mica Conference held in Delhi was attended by 65 international, national and local representatives directly or indirectly involved in mica trade. These envoys committed to uphold 'zero tolerance' towards child labor in mica supply chain.
The participants agreed to work in convergence to eradicate economic exploitation of the children in all its manifestations. Some of the key decisions of the conference were:
A public hearing on child labour was organised by Bachpan Bachao Andolan at Kushana Village in Koderma district of Jharkhand. The programme was organised in collaboration with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR).
Over 6000 participants from more than 80 villages of Koderma, Giridih (Jharkhand) and Nawada (Bihar) participated in the programme. Participants included former child bonded labourers, school children, parents, members of women and youth groups. Mr. Yogesh Dube, then Member NCPCR, was the Chief Guest at the programme.
In the public hearing members of Bal Panchayat and children raised the issue of child labour, human trafficking, lack of health amenities and educational facilities which hampered their growth and development. Addressing a press conference in Dhanbad, Mr. Dube directed Jharkhand Government’s Labour and Education Departments to start the process of identification of child labourers in the district within 7 days, prepare a status report on the same and submit the report within 30 days. He further directed the Education Department to start a helpline to improve the quality of mid-day meals in Jharkhand schools.
This resulted in:
The public hearing led to immediate action on some fronts including:
In July 2013, the BMG™ team met the District Superintendent of Education (DSE), Giridih, to file a complaint on irregular opening of school in Khatpok village. Following this, the Block Education Officer was directed to demote the principal of the school and ensure that school is opened regularly.
Child Labour Free Mica event was organized in partnership with Jharkhand Government where the then Chief Minister Mr. Raghubar Das addressed over 25,000 people comprising government officials, legislators, parliamentarians, village community members, BMG™members, students and business community on state government’s plans for child protection.
Shri Raghubar Das said, “I am very thankful to Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation for taking this initiative. Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been working for the cause of children for many years. I urge KSCF to constitute Bal Panchayats (Children's Parliaments) in every village in Jharkhand.”
This was a historic event where Government of Jharkhand and Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF) signed a MoU to address the issue of child labour in Jharkhand.
As a result of the MoU, we have launched the technical support intervention in 250 villages of Koderma and Giridih in 2021.
We organized ‘Building a Child Labour Free Mica Industry: The Role of Government, Business, NGOs and Communities’ programme in collaboration with Estee Lauder Companies as a part of United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva.
We shared case studies on the lessons from multi-stakeholder collaboration over several years to eliminate child labour in mica mining in India. The discussion focused on lessons from business and civil society as well as the Jharkhand state government and its measures to protect children from business-related human rights abuses through the replication of the Child Friendly Village (CFV) model. The session featured Mr. Rajeev Ekka, Principal Secretary, Department of Labour, Training and Employment, Government of Jharkhand, KSCF youth leader Manan Ansari and other dignitaries.
Jharkhand government officials informed the gathering about how “Bal Mitra Gram™ /Child-Friendly Village” is a unique intervention model to promote child protection and child rights.
We worked closely with the District Magistrate and the state government to ensure that 2,516 families were provided ration and other support through government and local organizations. Our on-ground teams ensured that children received regular access to government sponsored mid-day meal scheme which provided 1,112 children with rice and Rs 100 per month.
Through this program we are partnering with the state government to strengthen implementation of child protection schemes and laws. KSCF will support the district block administration and Gram Panchayat (local government body) to constitute, strengthen and sustain child protection systems such as Village Child Protection Committee and School Management Committee and ensure effective implementation of the Right to Education Act, The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendments Act, 2016, The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2016 and Integrated Child Protection Schemes.
Koderma Deputy Commissioner Mr Ramesh Gholap has agreed to KSCF's proposal and has notified Mr R Ronita, Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC) to work with KSCF.
KSCF held a public dialogue on ‘Safe Childhood-Safe Koderma’ in collaboration with Koderma district administration which was attended by Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Gholap and other government officials where the distressing child protection scenario in the district, which had become worse owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, was reiterated.
The public dialogue was an attempt to mobilise the administration, village panchayat, civil society organisations and support of communities to protect children from trafficking, child labour and child marriages.
There has been an increase in such cases in the villages recently, and a fact-finding campaign held by the child leaders and BMG™ team in the villages collected sufficient evidence to prove the same which prompted the BMG™ team and child leaders to organize the public hearing on February 26, 2021, and presented their findings before the district administration.
‘Koderma Ki Baat’ programme was conducted in partnership with national news channel Zee News and district administration on March 13, 2021. Jharkhand’s Drinking Water & Sanitation Minister Mithilesh Kumar Thakur, Koderma Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Gholap, Koderma’s Superintendent of Police Dr Ehtesham Waqarib and District Council President Shalini Gupta attended the workshop.
The workshop discussed several critical aspects of mica mining in Koderma district including illegal mining, raids, action on mica mafia and operation of District Mica Task Force (DMTF).
Mithilesh Kumar Thakur said, “Jharkhand government plans to revive the MICA mining industry in Koderma. The Geological Survey Department has opened an office here, and it will survey and identify the location where there will be possibilities of MICA mining. The department has identified four blocks outside the forest for the same, and the survey has been completed in 2 blocks. The government has issued a tender notice as well to set up the mining. The exact process will be adopted in the remaining two blocks as well. The restricted forest areas and disputed lands will be kept out of this survey.”
Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Gholap said, “The district administration has always been strict regarding illegal mining. We have registered 98 cases of illegal mining by forming teams with police' help, and we have also taken action on 153 vehicles exporting Mica, in which we collected INR 33,00,000 ($ 45,559) as a fine. Since I have joined as Deputy Commissioner for the past year, we have tried to stop illegal mining to curb unaccounted revenue. At the same time, it has been our endeavour that, as the Minister said, we have also discussed the government's mining policy. We both try to solve whatever the problems of the local people and illegal mining should end.”
Koderma SP Dr Ehtesham Waquarib assured that the police will work towards controlling illegal mining. “A district-level task force is operational for addressing illegal mica mining. The DMTF conducts a monthly meeting with the Forest Department, Police Department, District Administration officials, etc. DMTF does raid against illegal mining jointly with all the department. We try to control illegal mining through regular FIRs, Joint Raids and Fine collections,” he said.