A joint study report of Associated Chamber of Commerce & Industries of India and Price Water House Coopers reveals that working situation is being filled up with increasing numbers of cases of pressure, tension, and deepration because of Globalisation process. It is a threat to labour power in India. The workers are exploited in such a way and to save their own jobs they have becoming victims of hypertension, blood pressure and diabetics. The diseased workers of the age group from 35- 60 in India are shown that is not observed in other countries. Lack of treatment facilities the issue is becoming more serious. 6.5 corers workers were reported as hypertension victims in 2008 and this figure may go up 20 corers within 2015.. 53% of death incidents have been occurring because of these diseases. The figure of death due to these diseases would be 60% and 66% in 2015 and 2020 respectively.
The study report reveals that country suffered a loss of 9 corers dollars during 2005- 2008 because of untimely death due the said diseases and this loss may go up to 16 corers dollars within 2009 – 2015. The report also corroborates that 3% of GDP is being spent in India for health and treatment facilities where as it is 9% in average for rest of the world.
Why these two establishments felt for conducting such kind of study or who are behind them?
The situation as described above is not unaware for the workers and the community, even the workers who died in Gujrat after boozing toxic wine they were also aware of the same, whatever happened in the name of globalisation, main purpose was to seize the rights related to the jobs, all those facilities and welfare provisions related that availed by the workers after a prolong struggle. 92% of workers never enjoyed such facilities and welfare schemes as they work in unorganised informal sectors. But there was possibility that workers of this sector could develop their struggle referring such facilities and welfare schemes as model created by the workers themselves. All the workers of organised sector may not have the said data but they have been experiencing the same fact after 1991. After 1991 provisions of all these facilities and welfare provisions were withdrawn or curtailed. It was not possible by the MNCs TNCs & big companies to retrench the workers in India as and when they desired but informalisaion of employment occurred randomly ignoring labour acts. Many industries and trade closed down their establishment because of government policies. Economist Mr. Amit Bhaduri says that the workers of the closed industries have been compelled to do any thing to live somehow with the earnings whatever they earn in a day, like one third and fifty percent food selling hawkers are retrenched workers in Ahmedabad and Kolkata respectively. The unacceptable situation after retrenchments compelled the workers and its whole family members for committing suicide and increasing numbers of occurring of mental disorder have become daily story of news paper.
The reason behind the farmers' suicide in Andhra Pradesh is bank loan and major part of the loan amount was spent on by the farmers for their treatment purposes. It means a crisis of earnings and at the same lack of treatment facilities (withdrew of such facilities) in government hospitals. So in this situation the workers sufferings due to hypertension, high blood pressure and diabetes is not unexpected, so, there is no reason to be worried by the said establishments who conducted the study.
But there are many reasons to be worried for us when we see that ASOCHEM & PWHC have conducted the study to increase more private or private foreign joint investment in health and treatment sector. The recent rail and economic budget of India indicate the emphasis by the government is given in same direction as desired by the two establishments.
But increasing private or foreign investment in health & treatment sectors may not be the solution to address the health issues related to inhuman working conditions.. The hospitals that already built up acquiring government's costly land against throwaway price or receiving free of cost will not be for the workers like many other hospitals already in existence never been for them.. Most of the lands are acquired and getting exemption on tax and duties in the name of Medical Research and treatment for the poor and BPL listed people etc but there is undeclared prohibition to get entry into those hospitals by the workers and poor. NGOs working on CSR may be very happy but it woud not be wiser for them to start advocacy for those establishments seeing the crocodile's tears.
Samit Kumar Carr
Occupational Safety & Health Association of Jharkhand
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