2nd August, 2011
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Jaipur: To help people working in asbestos mines in the state get their due compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923,a diagnosis camp will be organised in Jhadole block of Udaipur from August 4.
About 1,500 mine workers will be participating in the camp to be organised by the Occupational and Environment Health Network of India (OEHNI) and Mine Labour Protection Campaign (MLPC).
According to Rana Sengupta,managing trustee,MLPC,This initiative is firstof-its-kind to help mine workers in former asbestos mines get compensation for damages to their health.Asbestosis is a common disease and workers in asbestos mines are entitled for compensation.
Sengupta said 1,500 workers have undergone various medical tests in the past few days.During the camp,doctors would diagnose these tests to know about the health of these workers.Most doctors would be brought in by OEHNI and the diagnosis would be done there and then, he added.
Out of 1,500 workers,280 have provident fund receipts from their previous employers which is a proof of their employment.Documents proving employment is a rarity for mine workers as none of the employers give any proof of employment be it identity cards,attendance register,etc, Sengupta said.
Under the Workmen’s Compensation Act,proof of employment is a necessity to claim compensation.
However,Sengupta said the fight to help these workers get compensation would be a tough as the Act does not entail any compensation after 15 years have passed from the date of their employment.
But the latency period for asbestosis after which the disease starts showing is 15 years.In these cases,most workers have crossed that period which makes it tough to help them get justice, he said.
Compensation for mine workers under the Act is a rarity.
In reply to an RTI application filed with the labour department of the state in the last five years,a case of Bhima Ram vs Tarachand has been registered under the Act.
The case was decided in favour of the applicant on June 26,2010 and about Rs 80,000 was ordered to be given to him.However,the applicant then appealed in the high court,details of which are not available.
>>>>>>>>>> IN THE PAST 5 YEARS ONLY ONE CASE HAS BEEN FILED BY A MINEWORKERS UNDER WORKMAN COMPENSATION ACT IN JODHPUR, THE CASE WAS DECIDED IN HIS FAVOUR<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<