Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    ABC's Bob Woodruff and "Nightline" producer Jake Whitman traveled to the Indian state of Meghalaya, a region rich in coal. Pemba Tamang, 17, says he has been coal mining in Khliehrait, India since he was 12 years old. Along with hundreds of other children who are desperate enough, and small enough, he works in a dangerous underground system of tunnels nicknamed "rat holes."
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    ABC's Bob Woodruff is shown here crawling out from a "rat hole" coal mine near Khliehriat, India. The small tunnels are approximately two feet high and five feet wide. They are dug hundreds of feet underground.
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    A bamboo staircase leading down into one of the "rat hole" mines in the Indian state of Meghalaya.
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    In 2010, the nongovernmental organization Impulse discovered hundreds of children -- some as young as 9 years old -- working in the coal mines. Three years after the problem was first exposed, it is still easy to find children working in dangerous conditions.
    Impulse NGO
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    The nongovernmental organization Impulse interviewed and photographed hundreds of children working in the coal mines of the Indian state of Meghalaya. The group estimates there are thousands of children working in similar conditions.
    Impulse NGO
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    The nongovernmental organization Impulse reported that the youngest miner they found was 9 years old. The children are preferred for the labor because their small bodies fit in the tunnels nicknamed "rat holes."
    Impulse NGO
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    "Nightline" producer Jake Whitman photographs 17-year-old Pemba Tamang, a coal miner in Khliehrait, India. Tamang is one of hundreds of children working in Northeast India's coal mines, despite a ban on child labor in place since 1952.
    Bob Woodruff/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    ABC's Bob Woodruff and Rosanna Lyngdoh of Impulse NGO Network speak with 17-year-old Pemba Tamang, a coal miner in Khliehrait, India. Tamang is one of the boys Lyngdoh and her group has been following.
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    ABC's Bob Woodruff and Rosanna Lyngdoh of Impulse NGO Network speak with women working in the coal fields of Khliehriat, India. These women will spend their entire day breaking down pieces of coal, for the equivalent of $2 US.
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    Piles of coal collected from Northeast India's "rat hole" mines near Khliehriat, India. On average, each pile takes up to two days to collect and is worth about $10 US.
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    School children peek out from inside a classroom in Khliehrait, India. Family members spend the equivalent of $6 US per month to send their children to this school. It was founded by a former child miner, who wanted to give the children here a future outside of mining.
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
  • Children Of The Rat Holes

    ABC's Bob Woodruff poses with school children in Khliehriat, India. Most of those children have fathers or brothers who work in the coal mines of Northeast India.
    Jake Whitman/ABC News
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