Life of a coal miner in Punjab

Published July 30, 2014
Miners take a break to drink water inside a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miners take a break to drink water inside a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Hills which contain coal are seen in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Hills which contain coal are seen in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miner Mohammad Ismail, 25, digs in a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miner Mohammad Ismail, 25, digs in a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner wipes sweat from his forehead inside a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner wipes sweat from his forehead inside a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner covered in coal dust sits inside a mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A miner covered in coal dust sits inside a mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner with a donkey makes his way through the low and narrow tunnel leading out of a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah in Punjab province, April 29, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A miner with a donkey makes his way through the low and narrow tunnel leading out of a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah in Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Donkeys stand at the entrance of a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Donkeys stand at the entrance of a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner unloads coal as he stands in a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A miner unloads coal as he stands in a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner loads coal onto a truck outside a mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A miner loads coal onto a truck outside a mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A truck drives past a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A truck drives past a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miners pose for a photograph at the coal face inside a mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miners pose for a photograph at the coal face inside a mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah, who says he is 14-years-old, sits at the coal face to observe the process of coal mining, underground in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah, who says he is 14-years-old, sits at the coal face to observe the process of coal mining, underground in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah prepares tea after finishing work at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah prepares tea after finishing work at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah, who claims to be 14-years-old,washes dishes at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah, who claims to be 14-years-old,washes dishes at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah carries water for his uncle's bath at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah carries water for his uncle's bath at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah watches the other miners play cricket at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Samiullah watches the other miners play cricket at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner plays cricket in the evening at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A miner plays cricket in the evening at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner cooks Pashtun roti (bread) after finishing his shift at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A miner cooks Pashtun roti (bread) after finishing his shift at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner performs afternoon prayers at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
A miner performs afternoon prayers at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miners rest in their rooms at the end of the day at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miners rest in their rooms at the end of the day at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner washes after finishing his shift at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A miner washes after finishing his shift at a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, April 29, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Miners watch TV in a room at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014.  — Photo by Reuters
Miners watch TV in a room at a coal field in Choa Saidan Shah, Punjab province, May 5, 2014. — Photo by Reuters

Workers at this mine in Choa Saidan Shah dig coal with pick axes, break it up and load it onto donkeys to be transported to the surface.

Employed by private contractors, a team of four workers can dig about a ton of coal a day, for which they earn around $10 to be split between them.

The coalmine is in the heart of Punjab, Pakistan's most populous and richest province, but the labourers mostly come from the poorer neighbouring region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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