Skip to main content

Silicosis death of 4 Gujarat workers: NHRC takes 10 years to 'request' compensation

By Our Representative
After waiting for 10 long years of a complaint filed by a health rights organization, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the district collector, Bharuch, Gujarat, to take up the matter of paying compensation to the next of kin (NoK) of four confirmed cases of deaths due to the fatal occupational disease silicosis with the labour department, Rajasthan government.
Filed by Jagdish Patel of the People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, on May 27, 2010, the complaint to NHRC was regarding the four workers who had died between 2007 and 2009: Raju Zaverbhai Patel, 37 (date of death February 9, 2007), Amarsing Dabhaibhai Gohil (62; May 9, 2009), Rajubhai Maganbhai Rathod (32; November 25, 2009) and Yusuf Alimohammad Nur (43; February 10, 2009).
In a detailed complaint, Patel said that the four workers, belonging to the Jambusar taluka, were employed in agate polishing units in Jaipur, where exposure to lethal silica is “very high”. On being sick, they returned to their native village and died a painful death, without larger society taking note of it.
NHRC recommendation is disappointing, does not specify the amount to be paid, the only ray of hope is the pneumoconiosis policy of the Rajasthan government
Patel said, “During our field work, we visited the families of the workers, talked to them at length to collect the occupational history and treatment papers including x-rays. We sent these x-rays and occupational history to medical experts separately to seek their opinion.”
Following the PTRC complaint, the process of paying compensation turned into a bureaucratic quagmire, with the district collector, Bharuch, asking NoK of the four deceased persons to visit the office of the Industrial Safety and Health, Bharuch, to report about their case. NoK faced several hurdles, included submission of claim under the Workmen’s Compensation Act in Jaipur, and inability to find out the exact name and address of the employers.
“After a long silence”, said Patel, “NHRC considered the matter on January 27, 2020. It decided to direct the Bharuch district collector to take up the matter with the Labour Authorities of Jaipur, Rajasthan, for payment of appropriate monetary compensation to NoK of the deceased persons. However, the NHRC recommendation does not specify the amount to be paid.”
Pointing out that the NHRC recommendation is “disappointing”, Patel added, the only ray of hope now is the pneumoconiosis policy, passed by the Rajasthan government, and unveiled on October 2, 2019.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.