Save livelihood of 3 lakh mining dependents in Goa

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The Supreme Court order dated 7th Feb 2018 cancelling mining leases in Goa and bringing mining to a grinding halt from March 16th will be a severe blow to the lives of 3 lakh mining dependents in the State of Goa. A 70 year old industry which was the bread and butter of the mining dependents has been pronounced a death blow. 

The Supreme court while passing its verdict and ordering stoppage of mining from March 16th 2018 did not consider the impact and what will happen to the lakhs of lives who depend on the industry. The mining industry in Goa is the only means of livelihood for nearly 60,000 people (directly and indirectly employed), with a multiplier effect felt on various sections of the population to the extent of approximately 3 lakhs. The SC decision is a death blow as the fates of all these people now hangs by a thread after March 15th. 

What will happen to the families once all mining shuts? No earnings, no food, no education for children etc. All the good work done to the needy and underprivileged in the mining belts will stop. This will lead to frustration that may result in suicides, alcohol abuse, resorting to criminal activities etc. Goa a state which is the safest in the country and regarded as a Paradise will be a land of social ills. 

 Parents are worried how they will be able to arrange for basic necessities and provide quality education to their children without necessary means. Wives and mothers are worried about the fates of their husbands/children working in the industry after 15th March as job loss may lead to increased alcohol abuse leading to other social ills in the society. While the innocent children are not sure as to how long their small paradise comprising of their parents and themselves will last. 

The mining industry is the backbone of Goan Economy for the past 7 decades contributing significantly to the economical and societal development in Goa. Shutting down this industry at such a short notice may have far reaching impacts which might not have been brought to the notice of the Supreme Court Judges while they were delivering the Verdict. 

The solution lies in continuing the Mining Operation post 15th March 2018 which shall provide much needed solace to the 3 lakh mining dependents in the state. Urge the authorities to kindly intervene and allow the continuation of mining operations in the State of Goa till a proper plan is in place for long term continuation of mining operations in the State. 

The reason for starting this petition is to ensure that  stoppage of major economic activity in the state should not lead to a humanitarian crisis in this Paradise on Earth that is Goa. The mining Industry and the local population in Goa have peacefully co-existed in the state for the past 7 decades and any disruption  to this normal, peaceful fabric of society will be detrimental and have very far reaching effects which can be catastrophic to the well being of all the mining dependents and the society. The scenario is comparable to the Mumbai mills strike which led to jobless youth and school dropouts taking to crime to make ends meet. And let us not forget that Goa is a favorite destination for foreign tourists who visit the place as it is a safe haven.

The immediate answer thereby to avoid any harm to the people and society is to continue mining operations in the State of Goa continue post 15th March 2018.