More than 70% of India’s electricity comes from coal, helping to satisfy the needs of a rapidly expanding middle class. Open-pit coal production is set to increase by more than 50% in the next 4 years. Expansion of open-pit mining has a devastating effect on the environment, health and the local communities living around the mines. As well as the official mines, there is an illegal parallel distribution system run by the coal mafia. Every day before sunrise women and children scavenge coal in hazardous conditions, for distribution on the black market. For many, this is their only livelihood.

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