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Issue 10
February , 2009
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PRASAR: Extending help to silicosis victims

Source: Toxics Alert, Date: February , 2009

Sometime in 1999, few young professionals came to Lalkuan, extreme south of Delhi, to work in the field of education amongst the people staying there.  Generally the prime residents of this area are workers in the local stone crushing units. Poor sanitation, health standard, education and nutrition condition was noticed by the development professionals at that time. The overall situation was very grim.    

They also found that people died off tuberculosis very often. An obvious question came to their mind, “WHY?”  Why people are dying of TB and so often. Why there is unprecedented occurrence of death and ill health among the resident of the area? They started inquired the root cause of the fatal problem. They found an astounding result. Those who have died earlier off tuberculosis, were working in stone crushing units near Lal kuan.

On that journey they have come across a man who has changed the way of thinking of the development professionals there. The man was Dr. Muralidhar, a Health Expert. He told that it might be another disease, other than tuberculosis. Fresh chest ‘X- ray’ of the victims were taken and the diagnosis was made afresh in Lala Ram Swarup TB & Respiratory Diseases Hospital in Mehrauli, New Delhi. After the diagnosis, all the patient who were previously told as the TB patients were found  ‘Silicosis’, a completely different disease and effect of continuous exposure to  stone dust.

Mr. S.A Azad, the man behind all the efforts, thought to go further with a mass movement and awareness against the disease Silicosis which is an occupational health hazard. He started working day and nights on the problem.

Thus, People’s Rights & Social Research Centre (PRASAR) came into being as an organisation working to eradicate the occupational health problem in the area. Later, it spread out its wings to help as many victims as they can.