The children who work in India's rat-hole coal mines | Bangkok Post: news

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The children who work in India's rat-hole coal mines

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Thirteen-year-old Sanjay Chhetri has a recurring fear: that one day, the dark, dank mine where he works will cave in and bury him alive. 

Indian child coal miners squat by a fire to keep warm inside a 50 metre-deep shaft in Rymbai village in the northeastern state of Meghalaya on January 29, 2013. Child labour is officially illegal in India, but in Meghalaya thousands of children work in rat-hole mines too small for adults to enter

Like thousands of children in India's remote northeast, Chhetri begins work in the middle of the night, ready to dig pits, squat through narrow tunnels and cut coal shards.

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