New Delhi May 28 : The National Human Rights Commission has asked the Chief Secretaries of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to submit their comments on a news report which highlighted the plight of the labourers employed in quartz units in Gujarat within a month.
Taking suo-motu cognizance of the news report which appeared in the "The Times of India" on May 19, 2005 captioned "Silicosis Silently Killing Hundreds in MP Villages" the Commission said the news report raised a serious issue of violation of human rights of the labourers employed in quartz units in Gujarat.
As per a survey conducted in 2007 by a group of doctors in 21 villages of Jhabua, 158 people were found dead of silicosis and 266 others suffering from the disease. In addition 28 people had died of silicosis in village Rordha. The report alleged that the tribals were taken to work at quartz crushing units of Gujarat as unregistered daily wagers. During quartz crushing, the labourers take in dust that causes the incurable disease Silicosis.