Silicosis : A non curable occupational disease
Silicosis is the oldest recorded chronic challenging public health problem globally and particularly in developing countries. Silicosis is a non-curable but 100% preventive disease. Silicosis is caused by inhaling dust containing crystalline silica particles by the labor who works in stone & Silica mines, stone crusher plants, stone finishing plants etc. Rajasthan has 32000 mines and almost 20 Lakh people work in these mines across Rajasthan. It has been found by a survey that 23% of people who works in such mines have cough & breathing problems and almost 70% of such people might be affected by Silicosis after working in mines for 5-10 years.
Rajasthan has 19 districts which have these stone mines and Karauli is one of district where people have only employment place is to work in such mines for their livelihood. Karauli is one of the majorly affected districts in Rajasthan where thousands of mineworkers are battling silicosis. Thousands of women became widows in early age between 30-40 years hence many villages are known as “village of widows“. There are more than 40 such villages in the districts that share a similar story.
Reasons of Silicosis
- Illegal mining
- No preventive facilities provided by contractor
- Lack of awareness about the impact
- Inhaling dust containing crystalline silica particles
- No other employment opportunities
- Lack of Education
- Lack of medical facilities to do timely investigations and X-Ray
PURE India Trust’s Efforts
PURE India Trust has been working to bring help for the Silicosis affected people from Govt to ground. We have raised this issue during budget planning meetings of CM of Rajasthan and later Govt allotted budget of Rs34 crore for eradication of the disease.
We have been going village to village to create awareness about the disease and telling people about the prevention people can take on our own expenses. We have organized free medical camps to provide basic medical facilities to these people and tell that what to take care to stay away from this disease.
We have been focusing to create education awareness and support to the children of these villages. Our “Education Enhancement scholarship”, “Shiksha Pathashala”, “Swatch Gaon movement” and “Girl Education encouragement” are our key ongoing programs in the villages.
Hence community awareness towards silicosis and on time investigation of disease becomes more important tool to save lives of thousand people.
We have created a Silicosis awareness video and asking questions if “there is any value of poor people’s life?” Thousands of mineworkers are dying due to Silicosis disease, every year. Our 3 min video will tell you full story. We are doing small efforts to bring smiles for them. Please join us and share it further to create awareness.