On October 3, 2019, Chief Minister of Rajasthan Mr Ashok Gehlot launched ‘Policy on Pneumoconiosis Detection, Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation’. With this, Rajasthan became the first state in India to launch such a policy and in January 2015, it had became the first Indian state to notify Pneumoconiosis as an epidemic. Pneumoconiosis is a disease of the lungs due to inhalation of dust, characterized by inflammation, coughing, and fibrosis.
- People having pneumoconiosis will be declared permanently disabled, and all benefits under the Persons with Disability Act, 1995, will be accrued to them and their families.
- Pension: They are entitled to receive a pension – up to Rs 1,250 per month under social justice and empowerment department.
- Family pension: Rs 3500 per month will be provided to the legal heir or dependent for 5 years or till the child becomes self dependent, whichever is later.
- Rehabilitation assistance: Rs 4 lakh (from Rs 2 lakh) will be given as one time assistance after certification from Pneumoconiosis Board.
- Rehabilitation pension:Rs 4000 per month or 50% of the prescribed minimum wages of unskilled workers, whichever is higher during the lifetime of the worker.
- Financial assistance for education: One time education assistance for children Rs 25,000. Maximum-2 children only.
- Funeral assistance: Rs 10,000 to the dependants to perform the last rites of the victim.
- Assistance on death: Rs 1 lakh to the nominee/legal heir of the deceased victim.
- Standing committee: A standing committee under the chairmanship of Rajasthan’s chief secretary D B Gupta has been formed to monitor and periodically review progress of implementation of the policy.
- Statistics: There are more than 11,000 silicosis patients in Rajasthan and over 1,600 people have died due to the disease.
- Pneumoconiosis Fund: The state announced the creation of a Pneumoconiosis Fund. It will be majorly financed by money from the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and operated by Rajasthan’s Social Justice and Empowerment Department.
♦ Capital: Jaipur
♦ National Parks: Mukundra Hills (Darrah) National Park, Desert National Park, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Ranthambhore National Park, Sariska National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Mount Abu WLS, Nahargarh WLS, Kesarbagh WLS, Sariska WLS, Van Vihar WLS, Sawai Man Singh WLS etc