Responsible Mica Initiative adds 50 mica-dependent villages in India, extending its overall support to more than 37,000 children and their families

Program expansion confirms momentum to eliminate child labor and improve working conditions

The Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI) is excited to announce the expansion of its Community Empowerment Programs to 50 new villages in the mica-belt of Jharkhand and Bihar, India, extending its overall support to 180 villages and more than 16,000 households.

RMI’s Community Empowerment Programs (CEP) are transforming communities in India’s mica mining region with initiatives that provide long-term and self-sustainable remedies to the underlying causes of child labor and poor working conditions. Launched in 2018, programs include better schools and health care delivery, improved access to government services, and paths to alternative livelihoods that are no longer dependent on mica only.

A recent external and independent impact assessment by Improve, conducted in 40 villages where RMI just concluded its first three years of intervention and support programs, confirms significant and concrete results have been achieved.

  • School enrollment among all children aged 6-14 years was at an all-time high of 93%.
  • 81% of families reported increased attendance in school (hours per day), linked to a combination of scholarships, improved material & increased motivation.
  • 31% of households depended on mica picking as a primary source of income at endline, compared to 45% before the program as a result of CEP assets and trainings; additional sources of family income are directly associated with reductions in poverty, and in child labor.
  • Similarly, the installation of resource centers in the villages provided greater access to social security services – 95% of households had been linked to at least one form of social security scheme – which, in turn, enable households to save money and not need their children to work to provide supplemental income.

“These encouraging results and more lead us to believe that we are moving in the right direction and RMI must continue its efforts,” says Fanny Frémont, RMI Executive Director. “On the special occasion of World Day Against Child Labor I heartfully thank the RMI members who committed their efforts and support since RMI’s creation, acknowledge the contributions of our partners and congratulate children like Pinki Kumari (see Pinki’s story here) who are inspiring us as leaders of their own change towards a better life.”