JAIPUR: In a bizzare move the Rajasthan Environment Health Administrative Board (REHAB) has decided that mine workers diagnosed with silicosis or asbestosis prior to 2013 would not be given any monetary relief until and unless the Pneumoconiosis Board certifies them.

The move comes when the board has already paid widows in Jodhpur and Karauli relief of Rs 3 lakhs each in 2012 and 2013 when there were no Pneumoconiosis Board on the ruling of the National Commission of Human Rights (NHRC).

“On what logic is the state denying the widows of today, even when competent medical authorities have confirmed the disease. In Jodhpur alone, K N Chest Hospital has confirmed silicosis among 1,000 mineworkers. Yet the district administration did not attempt to trace them and provide them with any assistance and neither bring them to the Pneumoconiosis Board,” says Rana Sengupta, CEO, Mine Labour Protection Campaign Trust (MLPC) that has been working for such cases. Read more