The world watched as the
miners trapped in the depths of the Chilean mountains were
rescued. One by one each man was pulled to safety. People
cried, laughed, and hugged these men as heroes. Many people
began questioning the mining industry—is it safe? What
are the risks involved for the miners? How safe is the mining
industry in the rest of world? For many global miners’
families, these questions haunt them daily especially those
gem miners in the Kashmir province. Here the dangerous of
mining the beautiful, rare and precious gem stones is a daily
occurrence. Many of these miners face the same angst, reserve,
and even fear when they are lowered deep in to the bowels
of the earth. Will the last glimpse of day light be my last
is always on the minds of these gem miners.
As a global community, we need to be more aware
of the working conditions of those who work daily in the mines especially
those working the gem mines in Kashmir. While the Westerner consumer
may not pay much attention to how he or she got the sparkling ruby,
sapphire or emerald, many lives have been put in harm’s way
for the trinket worn in many pieces of designer jewelry. Ignoring
the dangers of the mines shows a contempt for the lives of those
who work in them. This does not mean that you should not buy jewelry
with precious stones because this will hurt the incomes of those
working in the mines. You should put more effort into buying your
precious stones from jewelry companies who practice safe mining.
Companies should care more about the lives of their employees especially
their miners than the sale of a precious stone or piece of jewelry.
When you buy from companies that prize miner safety, then you are
actively helping to prevent another mining disaster.