200577 Mine Laborers' Welfare Program: Providing water-availability, sanitation and health safety for sand-stone mineworkers in India

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:10 AM

Prakash Tyagi, MD , Head Office, GRAVIS, Jodhpur, India
Every day, when dawn breaks over in Rajasthan, India, thousands of mineworkers walk towards the region's famed stone mines with chisels and hammers in their hands. In a few hours, dust fills the air as the mineworkers give shape to the many pieces of stones. The wondrous sandstone that comes out of mines is also grave reminder of the poor working and living conditions of the miners and consequent health impacts. The state of Rajasthan has large number of stone mines and over 200,000 people work in it. The mineworkers suffer with occupational health problems including silicosis and are severely affected due to lack of drinking water and sanitation.

GRAVIS, and NGO, has been focusing on mineworkers' issues over several years with a strong emphasis on water-security, sanitation and occupational health safety. Through a comprehensive program known as Mine Laborer's Welfare Program, GRAVIS has been supporting construction of water storage structures to harvest rain-water in mining settlements. The intervention has helped over 2,000 households in mining areas securing safe and clean drinking water. To address sanitation, group toilets have been constructed benefitting 920 families. Further, focus is given on behavior change communication and awareness generation on sanitation and hygiene. Education sessions, screening camps and advocacy with the state are organized to ensure occupational health safety and to prevent silicosis. Overall, the program is reaching 120,000 mineworkers and their families. It is envisaged that these interventions will improve the quality of life among mineworkers and will reduce water-borne and occupational diseases.

Learning Objectives:
To share the interventions of Mine Laborers' Welfare Program focusing water security, sanitation and occupational health and network knowledge-base and resources.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am directly involved with the program as the Director of the implementing organization.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.