For thousands of children who work as labours, picking dhibra (mica waste) in the vast lands of Bihar and Jharkhand is a routine affair. There’s almost no shot at education because the priority is to feed the family.
These mines are a death trap but children as young as four get inside the narrow tunnels of these mines only to earn a few rupees on a daily basis. The global beauty industry is among the largest consumers of mica and is still thriving on mica collected by children, only to add sparkle to their products.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said it has observed that a section of children in the mica mining areas are deprived of opportunities and have started working as labourers to supplement their family income. The survey said that there are 4,545 children in the age group of six to 14 years in the area of Jharkhand reported as not attending school majorly to collect mica scraps.