India is eager for the rest of the world to see it as a rapidly developing country.  But, as long as practices such as this remain , it is hard to accept that it has joined the first world or even left the Third World.  In this case, reality is perception.  The reality is that India condones labor practices that much of the world condemns and hasn’t been part of more developed countries for 100 years or more.  There is no “PR” in the worst sense of the term that can offset the use of child labor in coal mines.  The only solution is to put a stop to it, which may be politically difficult, and to increase protections for miners generally.  Even China is being forced to upgrade its safety measures for miners after a number of accidents and deaths.  India eventually will have to do the same.  When reality and perception meet, India will have made real progress.

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