Jaipur: Shravan Lal Saini of Dausa district was among those who had arrived in the state capital on Monday for a public hearing on the problems faced by the silicosis afflicted people chaired by Prakash Tatia, chief of the state human rights commission. Saini said he was one of several people who had been denied Rs1 lakh for a reason he found hard to comprehend – he is six months late in demanding relief.

On September 4 last year, the district labour welfare officer signed a letter (a copy of which is with TOI) stating that Saini was certified as a silicosis patient by the Pneumoconiosis Board. Saini applied for the monetary relief in March this year. But the money could not be released because six months have elapsed since the certification. Several people have allegedly been turned away with similar letters.

Rana Sengupta of Mine Labourers’ Protection Campaign said, “There is no such rule. As a matter of fact, doctors who make the diagnosis have been instructed to make it easier for patients to receive relief. And silicosis is an incurable disease. So once certified, it is not as if a man can be cured of it. There is no rule saying a patient should apply for relief within six months or forfeit the amount.” Read more