Silicosis victims in Jodhpur start indefinite `sit-in`
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 23:24
Jodhpur: The silicosis victims here have launched an indefinite 'sit-in' at the district collectorate on Thursday to protest against the alleged state government's apathy to grant a compensation as directed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The NHRC had fixed a compensation of Rs 3 lakh for silicosis victims of Rajasthan also directed the state government to issue the fund to the next of the kins of those who have died of silicosis (a kind of occupational lung disease) contracted while working in various mines in Jodhpur.

A delegation of the commission had visited Jodhpur visit last February to look into the condition of the sandstone mine workers and had took into account the death of 22 people due to the disease.

As of today, no compensation has been provided to them by the state government and in addition to the 22 six more persons have died, said Rana Sengupta, Managing Trustee of the Mine Labour Protection Campaign (MLPC), an NGO fighting for the cause of mine workers.

"Besides this, the commission had also asked the government to roll out a rehabilitation package for those suffering from silicosis but nothing has been done as of today," he said.

The state government has, however, provided an interim relief of Rs 1 lakh each to the next of the kin of the 21 deceased from the chief minister relief fund but the compliance of NHRC directive is yet to be carried out.

The commission has also taken a serious note of the absence of a mechanism for registration of the workers at the workplace, without any identity card and proof of employment terming it as an in-action of the state enforcement agencies.

The NHRC in its letter to the Rajasthan Chief Secretary has asked how many persons have been identified by the state government, who are suffering from silicosis and whether any medication and rehabilitation package has been provided to them and what measures have been taken by the government to prevent silicosis among the workers.


First Published: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 23:24

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