In a farm-dominated area of India, a factory lays half-built.
The youth of the village in Bihar have worked tirelessly to stop the construction of an asbestos plant that could threaten the health of its populace. Initially Devendra Ram, a villager near the plant, was ecstatic at the idea of the jobs this factory would create. But when his son Hare Krishna told him of the dangers of the material, Mr. Ram changed his mind.
Hare Krishna learned of the dangers of asbestos from his science classes in the government-run school he attends. More students joined and the protests began. The campaign grew as students were able to convince their parents and others of the risks the factory would bring. It has proven to be effective, as the factory’s construction has stalled.
Like all movements, the Indian work to ban asbestos has not come without bloodshed. The BBC reported that last month police fired upon protestors and over 24 people have been injured in baton charges. The future of the factory might be decided by the continuation of these protests.
Even with the demonstrations a manager of Balmukund Cement and Roofing, which is responsible for the factory, is denying that the asbestos they work with is a health hazard. According to the company, white asbestos has none of the dangers that blue asbestos has if it is used properly. The World Health Organization refutes this, noting that asbestos exposure has been associated with lung cancer, mesothelioma and many other diseases. White asbestos has been banned in more than 50 industrialized nations.
Clearly, it doesn’t always take a mesothelioma lawyer receiving a mesothelioma settlement for justice to be served. Sometimes it just takes people standing up for what’s right and making their voices heard to together make a difference.