Mine Labour Protection Campaign (MLPC), a constituent member of the mines,minerals and PEOPLE (mm&P) organised a Consultative Meet in New Delhi on 20th March’07 to discuss the issues relating to the Small Scale and Artisanal Mining and Quarrying Activities. Quarrying and associated Occupational Health issues form an important thematic area for the alliance and the consultative meet enabled alliance members and other working on related mining issues across the country to discuss various facets of mining and share their experience. The consultative meet was a platform to exchange their views and work out a viable plan of action. Organisations from Maharastra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh participated in the consultation. Australian National University and mines, minerals and PEOPLE, Centre for Science and Environment supported the event.

A large number of issues were addressed by one or the other group and have been able to achieve a significant breakthrough helping to bring change in the condition of mining and mine workers communities. As an advocacy measure members have effectively used the provisions of Minor Mineral Concession Rules (MMCR), but the complete import of the MMCR and the potential it holds for all the people involved in Small Scale and Artisanal Mines and Quarries has not been captured.

A need was felt to understand how do others address these issues in other areas or States and spread the benefits gained in one region? There are a number of policy issues related to the quarry licensing to operational processes, which need to be addressed. Issues of Health, Insurance and Compensation Payments need to be highlighted and mechanisms for redressal have to be strengthened. Social Security mechanisms and the role of ESI have to addressed. Oxfam-Community Aid Abroad noticed the interest and application of the members and offered support to undertake this task. Read More