Jaipur: The Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission’s (RSHRC) pioneering efforts to provide solace to silicosis victims in state have garnered appreciation at the national level. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has accepted it as a model programme in silicosis prevention and management for other states. Silicosis is an incurable occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of dust containing free crystalline silica. A large number of workers engaged in mining, construction, gem cutting and polishing, ceramics, slate/pencil, glass manufacture are at the risk of developing the disease.

The issue caught the attention of government after RSHRC took suo motu cognizance of the problem of silicosis in 2012 and found that in Rajasthan the problem was much more serious than anticipated.

It was followed by the Jaipur bench of Rajasthan High Court taking cognizance of the issue through a PIL on silicosis on July 10 last year and started monitoring the implementation of the 59 recommendations contained in the Special Report of RSHRC by Dr M K Devarajan, member, and RSHRC and to assist it in monitoring actions taken by the Central and state governments. The intervention by RSHRC has resulted in several concrete actions on the state government. Read More