Panel to petition Guv on plight of women, kids in mining areas

No action even eight months after submission of report, it says

Panel to petition Guv on plight of women, kids in mining areas

 A fact-finding committee is planning to petition the Governor in an effort to better the condition of women and children in the mining areas of the district.

The committee, under the leadership of Dhatri organisation from Hyderabad, visited villages in the Ballari, Hosapete and Sandur taluks between March 9 and 11 this year before preparing the report, along with recommendations.

The report was submitted eight months ago to the State chief secretary, the Ballari deputy commissioner and several departments concerned. But, barring the department of public instruction, none responded.

The committee is headed by Bhanumathi Kalluri of Dhatri. Shanta Sinha, former chairperson of the National Child Rights Protection Commission, Neena Nayak, former chairperson of the Karnataka State Child Rights Protection Commission, Rajendra Prasad, convenor of Hyderabad-based M V Foundation, Bhagyalakshmi from Sakhi Trust in Hosapete and Tippeshappa of Reeds organisation are the other members in the fact-finding committee.

The panel visited select anganwadi schools, government schools and colonies where people from the Scheduled Castes reside. It also interacted with psychiatrists. The committee found that mining activities had caused ill-effects on women and children.  

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kalluri said that the government had not bothered to undertake rehabilitation of those affected. Instead, the government was keen on awarding new mining contracts.

Women and children were subjected to untold exploitation and more men took to alcohol when iron ore mining was at its peak, she said. Many residents left the areas after mining activities stopped. But those staying back continue to suffer, she said.

Noting that the lives of women and children were now uncertain, she said that the government should pay urgent attention to improving their conditions.

Proposal on SPV sent to govt

Reacting to the issue, Ballari Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla said that a proposal to form a special purpose vehicle for the all-round development of areas affected by mining had been submitted to the State government. The proposal has to be submitted to the central empowered committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court.  The CEC will, in turn, forward it to the Supreme Court.

Once the court approves the proposal, the fact-finding committee’s recommendations would be looked into, if they find a mention in the above-mentioned proposal, the deputy comnmissioner said.

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