News in cooperation with

India's shrinking coal jobs fuel 'distress' migration to cities

(Context, 23 Mar 2023) Declining job opportunities in India's coal hubs force young people to seek work in far-away cities where they struggle to find secure, well-paid employment.

Shashikant Midha learned to swim as a child in the river near his village in Dhanbad, one of India's largest coal-mining hubs, but he hasn't yet found time to dip in the pool at the apartment complex where he lives nowadays, far away in south India.

Working long hours on a car-assembly line in Tamil Nadu state, more than 1,700 km (1,056 miles) from home, Midha belongs to a trend of Indians migrating out of coal regions, triggered by dwindling and low-paying jobs in a changing industry.

At least 13 million Indians in the poorest regions depend on the country's coal ecosystem for a living, research from the non-profit National Foundation for India (NFI) shows.

But many of them risk losing their jobs and incomes as India starts to move away from climate-heating coal towards clean energy this decade, said a 2021 report from the NFI, a philanthropic organisation focused on social justice.

External link

Context, 23 Mar 2023: India's shrinking coal jobs fuel 'distress' migration to cities