Out from the Darkness of Mica Mines, 15-Year-Old Malti Aspires to Become a Teacher


Looking at a bright future with glistening eyes, 15-year-old Malti Murmu studies in class 9 at the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV). But, her journey wasn’t easy. She had to break free from the shackles of child labour to get back into the world of education and empowerment.

Born in a financially weak family, Malti’s situation worsened after her father’s untimely demise in 2019. While her eldest brother took responsibility for running the household, he was hardly able to make ends meet. Malti had to often skip school to support her family in collecting mica.

In 2020, the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) started implementing its Bal Mitra Gram (BMG) programme in Malti’s village, Bardauni, located in Jharkhand. During the process, KSCF came to know Malti was on the verge of dropping out of school and working in the mica mines as a child labourer. On further interactions with the villagers, our team realised Malti wanted to pursue her education but her family’s situation forced her to work in the mines. Our field staff made every possible effort to help her go back to school to continue her studies.

The efforts finally bore fruit and Malti started attending school once again. More challenges arose once she completed 8th grade, but Malti was determined to overcome them with the help of KSCF. In 2022, despite an unsuccessful attempt at enrolling in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya for further studies, Malti’s determination persisted. In 2023, her application to enrol in class IX at KGBV was accepted and she was able to resume her education once again. Malti and her family were also linked to relevant government schemes to provide all possible support to them.

Ever since she started attending school once again, Malti’s transformation has been remarkable. A quiet girl, who was once forced to skip her classes, evolved into a change agent for her community. Regular school attendance, keen participation in Bal Panchayat meetings, and enthusiastic engagement in sports activities show her newfound strength and confidence. She also motivates her peers to continue their education for a bright future.

Malti aspires to become a teacher and is an inspiring example for the children in her village. KSCF continues to provide all possible support to Malti and her family so she can continue her education without any difficulties.