CV News/ Sunday, March 17, 2019
Senior health rights activist Jagdish Patel, who heads People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, has asked the the Government of Gujarat to urgently arrange for oxygen concentrator for patients like Sikandar alias Ratan, suffering from silicosis since 2013. At the age of 33 Sikandar began working as agate polisher on a vertical wheel machine known as patiya, used to make round beads.
Patel in a statement said, since 2013 Sikandar got sick and had to leave the job. He did not know anything on his right to claim compensation for silicosis and has not filed any compensation claim under the Employees Compensation Act. He is now completely bedridden. He needs to be on oxygen all 24 hours, even in the toilet.
Every third day, says Patel, someone from the family has to travel in autorikshaw to Anand, the district headquarter from his village Mamhmmadpura. Married with two children, he is landless, and his daily expenses of treatment are around Rs 250 which his family cannot afford. His elder brother, a construction worker, said they have to borrow money and pay interest.
Pointing out that two of his colleagues from his village have already died of silicosis, Patel Adda, since 2013 he has taken TB medicines several times and has continued to be on AKT.