Ujjain: A 2-week training programme affiliated with AICTE and AISTE, on environment management to prevent the disease silicosis will be held in Ujjain Engineering College (UEC). The training programme is designed particularly for workers of the slate pencil industries of Mandsaur, who are the main victims of silicosis. The inauguration ceremony was conducted at the seminar hall in the presence of chief guest, Mukesh Jain, deputy director of industrial health and safety.
The prevalence of silicosis disease amongst the workers of slate pencil industry is very high, thus experts will provide a holistic technical and environmental approach concerning awareness and prevention of the disease. The chief guest in his address suggested a total reengineering of the industry. He also placed emphasis on the alternative approaches to tackle the concentration of silica dust in industrial area.
Special guest, assistant labour commissioner, Meghna Bhatt said a ‘workers welfare fund’was established by government for slate pencil workers and also underlined the present condition of these workers. She further said that despite many preventive measures, 8-10 workers die every year due to silicosis and that the Government is working to achieve the zero tolerance level.
Programme convener Prof Jagdish Palsaniya spoke about the financial inadequacy of these workers in getting proper treatment of the disease and how silicosis affected persons eventually become physically weak and succumb to the disease.
Principal Dr Umesh Pendharkar said that the World Health Organisation has set up a target to eradicate the disease completely by 2030. The collector of Mandsaur has also extended a request to design low-cost devices for silicosis prevention. Prof Ashok Sharma held the 2nd session. Dr Anjani Kumar Dwivedi, conducted the event while Dr Sunail Punjabi and Dr Sanjay Verma introduced the guests.