Stress in Mining Sector Nationwide Causing Widespread Livelihood Crisis – Endangering Social Upheaval: Forum for Integrated Research Development and Research (FIDR) Report  

  • More 60 percent respondents feel mining cessation has deeply impacted their lives
  • Domestic violence and Mental stress cases have increased due to livelihood stress. High incidence in Goa
  • 1/3rd of those surveyed have been compelled to shift or are shifting their children to less remunerative alternatives than mining

S. No

Key takeaways from the report

1.

60% of the respondents said mining stoppage had high impact on their lives

2.

Legal instability and a weak mining policy has encouraged rapid depletion of Investor confidence leading to uncertainty regarding future of mining in India.

3.

65% respondents say family related incidents due to drinking and other vices increased after sector came under stress

4.

1/3rd of People have shifted or are shifting their children to cheaper alternatives.

5.

More than half of the respondents say livelihood loss fear is the most important loss with numbers very high in Goa

27 January, 2020: The Forum for Integrated Development and Research (FIDR), India’s leading social change organisation has released today a seminal research report based on a survey in 5 major Mining States of India. This pan- mining India report is a first-of-its-kind in the country and is about people’s attitudes toward the mining industry and the communities’ livelihoods interlinked with it. The study has highlighted the dent in the livelihoods of communities and households due to mining ban/stoppage in the states. The social fabric is in danger of frittering away and the livelihoods of millions of mining dependents eroded, across the country. In the state of Goa the mining ban has made a deep negative impact on the social bonding and wellbeing. The most incisive insight which has emerged from the survey underscores the deep and unmitigated livelihood, family, and economic crisis that has swept aside the peace and prosperity of whole communities in the wake of the mining stoppage, more so in states like Goa and Karnataka.

The report, entitled “Mining, A Prudent Perspective”, is based on a survey conducted across five major mining states in the mining industry in India, namely Goa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Karnataka. The respondents belong to the key sectors of the ecosystem with representation by gender and age, and also by people from varied education backgrounds. This report is an attempt to collate, analyse, and present an on-the-ground, socio economic situational assessment in the broad mining sector of the aforementioned five major states.

According to the report, the ban on mining has not only affected the families dependent on mining but also the families whose livelihoods are dependent on the ancillaries of the mining industry. With the household incomes depleted by more than half after the mining ban, the incidences of domestic violence have increased due to the joblessness and financial crunch to run families. The women and children are the worst sufferers due to the policy decisions to close down mining. 70 percent of those surveyed felt that mining had helped create jobs for them in the first place. Today, these jobs have vanished. 65 percent of the respondents expressed that their family lives are under severe strain and is further getting destroyed due to indebtedness, bankruptcy, violence from moneylenders, drinking and other social vices. 27 percent of respondents stated that mental instabilities have increased due to livelihood stress. This response came with the highest numbers in Goa.

Majority of those surveyed opined that legal instability and a weak mining policy has encouraged rapid depletion of Investor confidence leading to uncertainty regarding the future of mining in India.

90 percent respondents have been vocal about the decline in the real estate prices which has severely impacted economic activities in the communities which were supposed to provide alternate livelihoods options. This is another limiting factor for people’s economic stability and future prospects.

Speaking about the findings and the study, Mr. Charudutta Panigrahi, Mentor, FIDR, said, “This report aims to bring the voice of India’s citizens, on whose behalf India’s mineral and energy resources are managed, to the centre of the national conversation about the role of the mining industry in our society. This is important to note and act upon, if the country has to become the 5 trillion USD economy. The negative economic impact of a continued ban / stoppage on mining activities or trade barriers in the various states (like the ones cited in the report) would be a large ticket for the economy to absorb at this stage, when investors’ sentiment is already weak, and the global conditions are unstable. The issues plaguing the mining industry in the country, if continued, will bring the Indian economy to the edge of an avoidable precipice.”

He added, ” I hope that the dissemination of this report amongst stakeholders, both primary and secondary will help prepare final recommendations to be presented to the government and others to support pro development mining policies, rules, regulations, restoration after mining closure, generations of alternative employments, to help all the sectors and the community at large.”

The mining sector in India ranks third in the world in the production of coal, fourth for iron ore, fifth for crude steel, and eight for aluminium. India’s vast and varied mineral resources coal, iron ore, crude steel, aluminium, limestone, etc. need prudent management. The sector contributes some $8 billion annually in foreign exchange to India’s reserves. The mining industry’s share in India’s GDP (in real terms) in 2018-19 was a low of 2.6 per cent, down from 3 per cent in 2011-2012.

Mr Siddhartha Behera, Director FIDR stated that a one day symposium titled Loss of Livelihood and Sectoral Stress – its effect on Gender and Family was organised in Delhi on 23rd January 2020 wherein the panellists and speakers unanimously agreed that the civil society needs to take up the significant role of ensuring sustainable livelihoods for the communities which are already under economic pressure due to mining closure. The women and the children need to be protected and empowered and the households assured of income, education & health.

The survey of FIDR indicates that in the five states, Mining contributes to over 12% (on an average) of the state GDP. The closure of mines has dimmed the chances of the states to contribute to the vision of 5trillion economy of India. In Goa, stoppage of iron ore mining has impacted revenues worth Rs 34 billion which has been acknowledged by the State Government. The livelihood of several dependent segments has been affected due to the ceasing of mining activities in the state. This has left the stakeholders of the industry without any alternate source of income. Goa is at present facing a volatile situation with more than 3 lakh livelihoods at peril and with no signs of recovery. The government needs to act quickly and decisively to enable resumption of mining by the best and most viable mode to protect the citizens i.e. either through judicial or legislative route in the interest of the state. Goa with the highest per capita income in the country at one time, is severely debilitated today, with incomes badly hit and the quality of life fast sliding low. Repeated stoppage of mining in the state (Goa, Odisha, Karnataka) not just causes revenue damage and job loss within the state but also leads to loss of investor confidence which would be a long-term impact on the state’s economy.

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