NGO accuses Guj govts of turning back on victims

NHRC in 2010 had recommended to provide damages to the tune of Rs 3 lakh each to the kin of 238 workers but not a single penny has been paid so far.

Indore: An NGO here on Sunday alleged that the Gujarat Government was shrinking from its responsibility of compensating the family members of as many as 238 labourers from Madhya Pradesh who died of silicosis while working in the quartz factories in Gujarat over last fifteen years.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 2010 had recommended to provide the damages to the tune of Rs 3 lakh each to the kin of the 238 workers but not a single penny has been paid to them so far by the Gujarat government, Silicosis Peedit Sangh`s key activist, Amulya Nidhi, told a news agency.

Though the Gujarat government makes tall claims about growth and development but it continues to harbour "inhuman attitude" towards the victims of silicosis and is overlooking NHRC`s recommendations in this regard, he said.

Nidhi further claimed that the number of labourers getting afflicted by silicosis in the districts of Dhar, Alirajpur and Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh bordering Gujarat has gone up to 1500, including the 238 victims, in the last fifteen years.
The labourers migrate to Gujarat in search of employment and often land a job in silica units there, he said.

The NHRC had also advised in 2010 that Madhya Pradesh government launch a scheme for rehabilitation of those affected by silicosis.

The direction came on a complaint filed by one Juwan Singh who is associated with the `Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangh` working for the cause of victims of silicosis.
According to the association, the 238 workers had died due to deficiency on part of the factory owners in Gujarat in providing protective gear to the labourers from silica dust.


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