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Suzanne20110413-Minor-Miners-Meghalaya-0588.JPG
A young miner pulls an empty coal cart back into the 'rat holes'. Small sized miners are used to work in the 'rat holes' because they can fit in the tunnels which have an average diameter of 2 feet. The miners work from 7am to 1pm and from 2pm to 7pm and sometimes later. They are paid by each cart and the money is divided between themselves...In Jaintia Hills, underaged children work in unscientific, largely unmonitored and extremely dangerous underground coal mines dug out by often trafficked children using primitive methods and tools. The north eastern Indian state of Meghalaya sits on about 640 million tons of coal, with 40 million tons of that in Jaintia Hills alone which has about 5000 privately owned mines.  Photo by Suzanne Lee for Panos London