Some hope for Rajasthan’s silicosis victims but many challenges -Hridayesh Joshi
* After a long wait, in 2019, the government of Rajasthan announced the welfare policy for mine and factory workers who suffer from silicosis.
Akki Bai, 37, who lives in Kharapalli, a small village of Sirohi district in Rajasthan, lost her husband Bhana Ram in May, this year. Bhana, 42, who cut sandstone in a factory in the nearby town of Pindwada succumbed to silicosis, a lung disease. Now Akki Bai, mother of five young children, stands clueless, holding a piece of paper, which certifies that silicosis claimed her husband.
“Bhana had registered on the government portal and he was a certified silicosis patient. He didn’t get the relief money as per the rules but we are fighting so that his family gets justice,” Jagdish Kumar, a local activist told Mongabay-India.
This is not just one case. Even after one year of the announcement of “Policy on Pneumoconiosis Detection, Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation” by the Rajasthan government, thousands of sandstone miners and artisans suffering from lung diseases still await relief and justice. Mongabay-India spoke to many such workers and their families in several districts of the state and found that while many patients who were connected online to the portal of state government were receiving the benefits, other certified patients, who weren’t digitally connected, remained deprived of the benefits of the policy.
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India.Mongabay.com, 9 September, 2020, https://india.mongabay.com/2020/09/some-hope-for-rajasthans-silicosis-victims-but-many-challenges/?fbclid=IwAR1h0O1F6L6DHtvNvu4zmejJ9ITPAvHvixqiH6tN1ckzERyUfu-QAPmqZQE