Skip to main content

Asad Sheikh becomes ninth victim of deadly silicosis disease in Gujarat, even as govt remains indifferent

By Our Representative
Asad Shekh, age 35, has become the ninth victim of the deadly silicosis this year in Gujarat. Sheikh, who died of the disease on December 12, 2013, at his home in Pirajpur village in Khambhat taluka, was under treatment for the last two years and was bed-ridden for the last four months. Last he was having treatment at the clinic of People's Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadadara. Sheikh worked as agate worker forthe last 15 years, said Jagdish Patel, who runs PTRC, an NGO fighting for the cause of silicosis victims in Gujarat as also neighbouring states.
Patel said, "Sheikh has left behind his wife Sabina and three children. Shekh was the second victims of silicosis in Gujarat in December. The earlier victim, on December 7,2013, was Ismail Mohammad,55, who died in Shakarpur. He used to work as agate polisher in Jaipur for the last 12 years. He is survived by his wife and two sons, one of whom is mentally retarded."
Significantly, the Gujarat government had declared in May 2012 that it would pay Rs 1 lakh to the kin of those who die of silicosis. The declaration remains on paper, as not one silicosis worker has so far been paid the compensation. 
“Other states, including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, have begun to pay to the kin of those who die of silicosis, but the scheme remains unimplemented in Gujarat”, regrets Patel. “Push from the National Human Rights Commission, too, has failed to motivate the state government to take any concrete steps in right direction. In 2013 as many as silicosis sufferers breathed their last, which included a female.”
A government resolution (GR) was put out to compensation last year to kin of silicosis victims. Ahead of the GR, activists working for the cause of silicosis victims were glad that, finally, the Gujarat government had recognised that silicosis was a deadly disease whose victims must be compensated. The activists had represented to the state government officials that the compensation amount should be Rs 3 lakh. They also wanted to ensure that the GR was implemented with effect from June 25, 2007. They demanded simultaneous setting up of facilities, which would ensure quick and early treatment from silicosis. However, to their surprise, this did not happen.
Worse, implementation of the GR got bogged down in interdepartmental issues. The rural labour commissioner, approached to get the forms for compensation, told the activists that it was in the process of “resolving certain issues”, hence no forms could be given. Further investigation by them led them to find that the GR provided compensation based on insurance. 
The GR made no mention of the premium, hence it was found to be not implementable. The volunteers were also told that even if the government decided to pay the premium, the insurance company would be unwilling to pay, coming up with some explanation or the other.

Comments

TRENDING

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

'Attack on free expression': ABVP 'insults' Udaipur professor for FB post

Counterview Desk   People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan, condemning what it called "insult of Professor Himanshu Pandya" by students affiliated with with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad (ABVP) in Udaipur, has said he was evicted from the class where he was teaching after raising "ugly slogans", forcing him to "leave the university".

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Moving towards sustainable development? Social, environmental implications of HCES data

By Dr Vandana Sehgal, Dr Amandeep Kaur*  Sustainable development, the high time agenda, encompasses economic, social, and environmental dimensions, aiming for a balance between all these aspects to ensure long-term well-being and prosperity for all. One of the crucial aspects of sustainable development is consumption patterns. Consumption patterns refer to the way individuals, households, and societies use resources and goods. Sustainable consumption patterns entail using resources efficiently, minimizing waste, and considering the environmental and social impacts of consumption choices.

Heatwave in Bundelkhand: 'Inadequate attention' on impact on birds, animals

By Bharat Dogra, Reena Yadav*  While the heat wave and its many-sided adverse impacts have been widely discussed in recent times, one important aspect of heat waves has not received adequate attention and this relates to the impact on birds and animals.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".