The state of Jharkhand is extremely rich in mineral deposits and mica is one such mineral which is high on demand across the world. Two districts namely Giridih and Koderma (also known as the mica capital of India) have been the key mica suppliers around the world.
This study talks about the status of mining communities who live out of picking mica scraps. It includes 8 settlements near mining areas from Koderma and Giridih in around 4 scattered and abandoned mines in Giridih and in Koderma.These mines located in reserve forest areas are now abandoned and the mica picking activity is illegal. The poor economic condition and insufficient availability of livelihood of the communities leads them to mica picking. Additionally, mica picking being the easiest occupation available in the region draws the communities towards it. The communities earn around Rs 50 – 100 per family per day and thus employ their children in mica picking to supplement the families’ income. The schools and ICDS centres in the villages do not function properly and quality of education/services imparted is poor. Children are hence largely engaged in mica picking and no government action is initiated. High mortalities and morbidities have been reported owing to accidents at mine sites. The areas are also civil strife affected and remote.
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