Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A boy works at a coal depot near Ladrymbai, in the Jaintia Hills district of northeastern India.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Prabhat Sinha, 38, carries a load of coal as he ascends a staircase near the village of Khliehriat.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A crane lifts miners out of a 300-foot-deep mine shaft.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

The wages offered for mining coal lures many children to leave school and work.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Shyam Rai, 22, from Nepal makes his way through a "rat hole" tunnel inside a coal mine.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A boy carries coal to be crushed as he works at a coal depot.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Workers cross a bridge to load coal onto a truck.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Chhai Lyngdoh, 14, makes about $5 a day emptying coal from a 5,000-pound hopper.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Twelve-year-old Abdul Kayum carries coal to be crushed.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A miner makes his way through a tunnel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Anil Basnet, 20, left, pushes a coal cart as he and a fellow worker haul coal from a tunnel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A coal miner outside a coal mine where he works.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A crane lifts miners out of the shaft of a coal mine as workers break for lunch.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A young boy named Fight, believed to be 8 years old, shovels coal at a depot. Local schools in the area, providing free tuition, find it difficult to convince parents of the benefits of education, as children are seen as sources of income.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images AsiaPac

Prabhat Sinha, 38, unloads coal that he carried from inside of a mine shaft.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Workers load coal onto trucks at a coal depot.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A worker carries a load of coal before throwing it into a crusher at a coal depot.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A miner unloads tools after being hoisted 300 feet from the depths of a coal mine for his lunch break.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Miners wash as they break for lunch.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A miner calls to the crane operator, sitting 300 feet above, to hoist them out of a coal mine for their lunch break.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Children walk through a coal depot on their way home from school.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Workers make their way home after a shift in the mines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Inebriated young workers loiter near a coal depot.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Kala Rai, 13, attends an English grammar class at the Biateraim Presbyterian Church school. She worked in the mines for six months but was able to to return to school.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Coal trucks pass through the town.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Coal trucks and other vehicles move through town after being delayed by a traffic accident.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

A boy peers into a store as a worker loads coal onto a truck at a coal depot.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

People gather in a market to gamble on a dice game.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

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In India coal towns, many miners are children

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Times South Asia bureau chief  Mark Magnier and photojournalist Daniel Berehulak report on the mining situation in the Jaintia Hills district of India, located in the northeastern state of Meghalaya. Perhaps as many as thousands of underage workers as young as 8, lured by the wages, leave school to work in coal mines under perilous conditions. The country officially upholds mining safety standards and forbids child labor, but loopholes in state laws allow widespread abuses. The young miners descend on rickety ladders made of branches into the makeshift coal mines, scrambling sideways into “rat hole” shafts so small that even kneeling becomes impossible. Lying horizontally, they hack away with picks and their bare hands: Human labor here is far cheaper than machines.

1 Comment

  1. May 23, 2012, 8:38 am

    These photographs of children are disturbing – I wonder what our kids would think of this life style!

    By: Real_Kids

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