KABRAI (MAHOBA): Haze is all one can see beyond 60 metres in Kabrai, a pocket of legal and illegal stone mining in Bundelkhand. The visibility reduces to zero when a stone crusher unit starts working. Green trees have grayed and concrete link roads are padded with an inch-deep layer of dust. Dust particles which get stirred each time a heavy vehicle passes through are a part of the life of people living in the mining ‘infested’ districts in Bundelkhand area of UP. The nuisance is a clear invitation to silicosis, a major risk factor to tuberculosis (TB). TOI, with the help of The Union fellowship, brings a spot report.

* ‘Dust kills us, it is what we breathe and eat’: Vimla Devi owns a farm right opposite Badhwa area of Kabrai in Mahoba. She is so sick of dust that she didn’t work in a mine or crushing unit despite getting an offer. “I am happy with my identity as a farmer,” she says. But the problem of dust is making her think about migration. “Dust is a huge problem for all of us. It is what we eat and breathe. And we cannot do anything about it. So we are thinking of going to some other place,” she rues. Not just Vimla, those living in the villages around these crushers are tired of the dust. “Dust kills most of us. I know of many people who have died coughing because of dust,” says Uma Shankar, former village pradhan of Dharrara Village – a hamlet of around 3000 people living in a place surrounded by some 40 crusher units. Doctors say that it is natural for people surrounded by so much of dust to cough all the time. This has two implications in context of health. “People tend to ignore early signs of TB which is prolonged cough for more than three weeks. Secondly, the dust particles which settle in their lungs make their lungs quite weak. The combined effect is that when a villager goes t o see a doctor, there’s hardly any time left for intervention,” said a government doctor. Read more

Courtesy: Times of India