Prof. D M Diwakar, Director, AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna argued for preventive approach to deal with the impending crisis due to environmental and occupational diseases. Consent of villagers for all the industrial activities must be considered mandatory. Alternatives to hazardous substances should be promoted because public health concerns are non-negotiable.
Governments appear to be under the influence of vested interests else there is no reason why lung related diseases should not be prevented by prohibiting asbestos industry, said Dr P N P Pal, ex-President Indian Medical Association, Bihar Chapter.
Gopal Krishna of ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) addressing the Conference on Environmental and Occupational Health in the presence of Awadesh Narain Singh, Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council, Justice (Retd) Rekha Kumari, Patna High Court, Prof Ishwari Prasad, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Dr Barry Castleman, fellow Collegium Ramazzini, USA, author, Medical & Legal Aspects of Asbestos and former consultant of World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Bank.
Trade unions of the left parties have consistently joined hands with the villagers in their struggle against hazardous asbestos factories. Participants include trade union leaders like Chakradhar Prasad Singh, AITUC, Shri Sarovodaya Sharma, CPIM, Shri RN Thakur, AICCTU, Shri Arun Kumar Singh, President, All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Bihar, Shri Nand Kishor Singh, All India Federation of Trade Unions (New), Shri Arun Kumar, President, The Times of India Newspaper Employees Union, Patna & Member, Press Council of India and Shri Irfan Ahmed, President, Bihar State Vendors Hawkers Federation.
Dr Jitendra Kumar Singh, Director, Mahavir Cancer Sansthan and Research Center expressed concerned about the unattended health impacts from environmental exposures.