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Cancer-Crabby; Wallflower; The Shrinking Violet; Taciturn
2 months ago
One of the most prominent problems third-world countries face is poverty. As a result, children in the family mostly volunteer or are sometimes forced to work to contribute to the family's expenses and survival.
They do this because it's their most accessible source of income for survival every day.
Do you think child labor runs as a culture or it just happens given the situation they're into?
Last Sunday after we tested the wood cutting tool I have ordered for my father, I watched the television and I was surprised how these kids were able to do such dangerous works.
It is a documentary show by Atom Araullo entitled "Munting Bisig" which means, "Little Arm". It basically shows how these young kids work to sustain the needs of the family.
A kid named Joshua, not his true name was interviewed but his eyes were censored to conceal his true identity. He is a miner. But it's not the kind of miner you imagine inside a mountain mining for minerals, particularly gold.
He mines gold by diving into a narrow, deep, mining pit that usually stands 10-12 meters deep from the water level.
He's only 10 years old but he already learned the techniques on how to dive through the mining pit.
People do this because they have no source of livelihood. That's why they mine gold to survive. Then again, life doesn't always give you a bed of roses. Sometimes they don't find gold all throughout the day. Although they can find little but that's just enough to buy for one meal.
They use a compressor, so they can breathe underwater. That serves as their lifesaver while they risk their lives to look for money. They bring a shovel with them to dig the sand quickly.
Just imagine how deep they dive, that's 10-12 meters and your lifeline only relies on that string you breathe underwater.
When they're done digging the sand, they tug the rope so that signals the people above to pull it out. The rocks are thrown back to the water while the gold remains at the center of the plate they use to filter the sand.
Anyone can drown as long as you are underwater. Just the fact that you are gonna get down under it gives you the chances of drowning. The risks add up when you dive into an enclosed, narrow mining pit.
If you are claustrophobic, you are not going to survive. By the looks of it, you start getting panic attacks.
One died because he got buried beneath the mud. If there are too many people hanging around the area, the pit could collapse and so that risks the diver being buried underneath.
In fact, Joshua's father died because of diving. He got trapped while diving. He panicked when the mud started burying him because the pit gave in.
Joshua was discouraged by his mom to not risk his life for mining but he still chooses to do so because of starvation.
After filtering the sand, they need mercury to extract gold. They need this for the preheating process. However, mercury is dangerous to our bodies.
Our bodies can absorb it through our skin pores and then it travels to our brain and affects our central nervous system over time.
After almost spending the entire day of diving for gold, Joshua has managed to extract 4 grains of gold. Curious how much did it cost?
Joshua still smiled when he received his money. He was asked what are his plans for the money, he said he will buy clothes and buy money for his little siblings.
Joshua dropped out of school and choose to work as early as 11 because he witnessed how hard it is for the family to survive every day. His parents may be against child labor but they had no choice because it's their main source of income.
The country has implemented a law prohibiting child labor but since for many poor families in the Philippines, having more children means having more family members who can work.
This still boils down to livelihood or poverty.
Who are the ones who take benefit of the small miners? The financiers, the big companies who buy gold, and the central banks.
If they stop the small-scale mining, poor families will be greatly affected and big companies will take advantage of it.
Poverty is a hindrance to success. That's irrevocable. One reason why people can't get out of it? It's because they are deprived of opportunities.
See how unfair this system is? Full of crap. Some politicians steal money from the people, no sweat. So much hate.
Your thoughts about this? I wanna hear from you, my friends.