Friday, July 6, 2012

 1.Mr Jean Charest Premier Government of Quebec Quebec City
 2.Mr Stephen Harper Prime Minister Government of Canada Ottawa
 Through Mr Stewart Beck, Government of CanadaⳠHigh Commissioner to India
Subject- Impose Immediate Ban on Mining and Trade in White Asbestos (Chrysotile)

Dear Mr Charest,
 This is to express our sense of outrage and dismay at the announcement of a $58 million loan for revival of the Jeffrey Asbestos mine under the influence of Chrysotile Institute, a white asbestos industry funded group. This unscientific decision of the Liberal Party-led Quebec government that was announced on June 29, 2012 by ignoring the views of World Health Organisation (WHO), International Labour Organisation (ILO), National Public Health Institute, Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Cancer Society.

It is shocking to note that you chose to ignore independent scientific evidence regarding white asbestos. The medical scientific fraternity has noted that your decision is based on totally incorrect reading of the WHO position. The relevant WHO position reads: the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop the use of all types of asbestos.Reference:http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs343/en/index.html)the relevant WHO factsheet is attached.  

This misrepresentation of scientific facts and published WHO position is highly unethical. It is unbecoming of a Premier to misrepresent facts which have bearing on public health In Quebec, Canada and elsewhere in the world. This act of yours has belittled Quebec Government and CanadaⳠstature in the comity of nations.  I submit that justifying asbestos trade is akin to justifying slave trade. It does not behove a civilized country to endanger the lives of defenseless citizens and workers in developing country like India by exposing them to the carcinogenic fibers of white asbestos. While we have purposefully persuaded several ministries of Government of India to discourage and phase out white asbestos, India remains one of the key consumers of asbestos from Quebec.  It is quite evident that you have ignored the epidemic of asbestos related diseases that has led to bankruptcy of asbestos companies as a result of their liabilities.  It has come to light that Canadian-Indian Mr Baljit Singh Chadha whose company, Balcorp Ltd is the sales agent for the Jeffrey mine in India has been one of the main fund-raisers of the Liberal Party. It has been reported that Mr Chadha raised $27,000,00 for the party in 2009.  This gave a sense of deja vu.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued a final rule on July 12, 1989, banning most asbestos-containing products. After spending ten million dollars and conducting a ten year study, USEPA accumulated a 100,000 page administrative record, announcing that it would phase out and ban virtually all products containing asbestos. This ban was to apply to the manufacturing, importing, processing and distribution of asbestos products.  US EPAⳠgrounds for the ban states: 㡳bestos is a human carcinogen and is one of the most hazardous substances to which humans are exposed in both occupational and non-occupational settings. But the verdict of October 18, 1991 by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of New Orleans in the asbestos matter overturned the ban imposed by USPEA.  I submit that giving a severe blow to the reputation of US judiciary, the Appellate Body of World Trade Orgnisation, World Health Orgsanisation and several other UN agencies besides more than 50 countries found that USEPA was right because it is impossible to use asbestos in safe and controlled manner.  Ironically, in the U.S., Dow Chemicals Company has set aside $2.2 billion to address future asbestos-related liabilities arising out of the Union Carbide acquisition. Liveris heads Dow Chemical Company that purchased Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and its Indian investments in 1999 has consistently denied inheriting any liability for the Bhopal gas disaster due to leakage of 40 tonnes of lethal methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas from UCC plant into the surrounding environment, which has caused more than 20,000 deaths and 100,000 disabilities. UCC formerly made products containing asbestos, and UCC once mined asbestos for sale to customers. The mine of the UCC was sold in 1985. Hundreds of thousands of people have sued asbestos companies that made products containing asbestos. Many manufacturers of asbestos-containing products are bankrupt as a result of asbestos litigation.

I submit that Government of India took the right step on June 21, 2011 when at a meeting of UNⳠRotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade disassociated itself from Canada and other asbestos producing countries in order to get white asbestos listed in the PIC list of hazardous materials. The listing requires would-be exporters of asbestos to warn governments of developing nations on what is being brought to their countries. It was unbecoming of Canadian government to block the efforts to list it under the parochial influence of Quebec asbestos interests.ࠠ

 I wish to inform you that "The Government of India is considering the ban on use of chrysotile asbestos in India to protect the workers and the general population against primary and secondary exposure to Chrysotile form of Asbestos." It has noted that "Asbestosis is yet another occupational disease of the Lungs which is on an increase under similar circumstances warranting concerted efforts of all stake holders to evolve strategies to curb this menace". A concept paper by Union Ministry of Labour revealed this at the two-day 5th India-EU Joint Seminar on ㏣cupational Safety and Health䠯n 19th and 20th September, 2011. (http://www.labour.nic.in/lc/Background%20note.pdf)  In the light of the above facts, on behalf of ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), I urge the Quebec government and Canadian government to reconsider its decision and cancel the loan guarantee and help the asbestos disease affected communities in the developing countries. This decision of the Quebec government gives the impression that in Canada ether asbestos industry and the government are one entity or government is subservient to the lust for blind profit at human cost.ࠠ It is required for both Canada and Quebec to regain its stature as a civilized nation.

 Thanking You 
Yours faithfully Gopal Krishna
Convener ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) New Delhi PIN. 110016

AirAsia helps endangered ASEAN art form soar

Cambodian troupe makes international debut with the support of AirAsia Asean Corporate Responsibility initiative

SEPANG, 6 JULY 2012 – AirAsia, the world’s best low cost airline, is marking its latest ASEAN-level Corporate Responsibility sponsorship by showcasing the endangered Cambodian art form of Sbaek Thom or the Cambodian large shadow puppet theatre for the first time in Malaysia.

In support of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), a non-profit organisation dedicated to reviving endangered Cambodian art forms, AirAsia is making it possible for the Wat Bo Troupe from Siem Reap to perform to an international audience through its participation in the George Town Festival 2012 (GTF2012) on 7 July 2012.

“This sponsorship correlates with AirAsia’s new regional strategy. We see our extensive route network as sky bridges linking cities, communities and cultures. We want to help bring ASEAN together as one, where values and cultures are shared, appreciated and respected together as a community,” said Tony Fernandes, AirAsia ASEAN Group CEO.
 
“There is also great significance in introducing the Cambodian shadow puppet theatre in Malaysia. This is the year of Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN and the rich Khmer culture can be traced back as the source of many of the cultural art forms across Southeast Asia,” he added.

The George Town Festival is a month long celebration of art, music, theatre, dance, opera and film commemorating the inscription of George Town on the UNESCO World Heritage listing on 7 July 2008. In 2005, Sbaek Thom was declared a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The Wat Bo Sbaek Thom troupe comprises 16 performers aged between 18 and 39. For all troupe members, this will be their first flying experience, beginning their journey with AirAsia in Siem Reap before arriving at Penang via Kuala Lumpur.

Apart from return flights and complimentary baggage allowance, AirAsia is also supporting the troupe by drumming up excitement ahead of the 7 July (Saturday) evening performance at Penang’s magnificent Khoo Kongsi clanhouse. AirAsia will also be giving away freebies including a limited number of complimentary BIG Cards on location. BIG is AirAsia’s global loyalty program which enables its members to collect points and redeem free flights.

CLA and George Town Festival organisers are jointly providing for the troupe’s stipend, accommodation and transportation. The troupe is also hosted by Tune Hotels while on transit overnight in Kuala Lumpur.

Sbaek Thom, a highly refined form of shadow theatre, is one of the oldest performance styles in Cambodia. Sbaek Thom literally means ‘large leather’ and is a type of dance-drama in which the movement of the dancers’ bodies are extensions of the action of the puppets. All Sbaek Thom performances are episodes from the epic tale of Reamker (Ramayana).
For further updates on such activities, apart from latest promotions, contests and information, follow AirAsia via social media by following them on Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia).

About Cambodian Living Arts (CLA)
The Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) is a program of the Marion Institute, a non-profit organization based in Cambodia. Its mission is to create a sustainable environment where Cambodian arts can empower and transform individuals and communities. CLA was founded in 1998 by Arn Chorn-Pond, genocide survivor and internationally acclaimed human rights spokeperson.
During the Khmer Rouge era between 1975 and 1979, 25% of the Cambodian population perished, and it is thought that approximately 90% of Cambodia’s artists were among the dead. Arn created CLA to honour surviving master artists and help ensure the future of Cambodia’s traditional arts.
Today, CLA envisions being a vibrant and dynamic cultural sector throughout Cambodia. Cambodian Living Arts will be a catalyst for the arts, becoming the Cambodia’s national and international signature.

About AirAsia & AirAsia X
AirAsia, the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia, services the most extensive network with 150 routes. Within 10 years of operations, AirAsia has carried over 155 million guests and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to approximately 106.
The airline today is proud to be a truly ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines servicing a network stretching across all ASEAN countries, China, India, Sri Lanka and Australia.
This is further complemented by AirAsia X, its low-cost long-haul affiliate carrier that currently flies to destinations in China, Australia, Taiwan¸ Iran, Korea and Japan. AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for three consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011).

Photo Caption:
The Wat Bo Troupe gets ready to board AirAsia’s flight to Penang. It is the troupe’s first time traveling out of Cambodia to perform under this opportunity provided by AirAsia’s corporate responsibility initiative.

‘The Shard’ in London Europe’s Tallest Building

The Shard was designed in 2000 by Renzo Piano, an Italian architect best known for creating Paris’s Pompidou Centre.The project was almost cancelled in late 2007 due to the looming global financial crisis, but an infusion of capital from a consortium of Qatari investors allowed the construction of the tower to start in 2009. The Qatari investors now own an 80% stake in the Shard.

Despite criticism over its architectural design and placement in the heart of London, The Shard will certainly become one of the most prominent landmarks of the British capital, along with Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and the “Gherkin” building.

The Shard, which has an irregular pyramidal shape and is clad entirely in glass, stands 309.6 meters (1,016 feet) above ground level on the banks of the Thames River near the famous London Bridge.
The 87-floor futuristic tower will contain offices, exclusive residences, a luxury hotel, restaurants and a viewing gallery after the work on its interior is finished in 2013.

Italian Premier Mario Monti and German Chancellor Angela Merkel  met in Rome later on Wednesday for talks on how to apply the deal reached at last week's European Union summit on the eurozone crisis.

Monti is also likely to want to discuss how to overcome any lingering opposition to what was hailed as his key victory at the Brussels summit - the agreement to allow European rescue funds to be used to support the bonds of countries facing soaring borrowing costs.

Merkel dropped her opposition to the bond-support measure after Monti and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy threatened not to back an agreement for a 120-billion-euro package to stoke flagging growth in Europe. The governments of Netherlands and Finland this week raised doubts about the bond-support agreement when they said they were opposed.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on Tuesday that the two nations would not be able to veto it.But Merkel said those countries' reservations should be "respected".This has led to speculation the chancellor may be working behind the scenes to use the Netherlands and Finland against the deal.

 Monti stressed that last week's agreement should not be considered a victory for him and a defeat for Merkel, after the media compared it to Italy's 2-1 win over Germany in the semi-finals of Euro 2012 on Thursday.

"The press should have written Angela plus Mario equals a step forward in European economic policy," Monti said in an interview published in Wednesday's edition of German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.The summit also agreed to create a single supervisory body for eurozone banks, which is seen as the first step towards a European banking union.Media agencies

Vladivostok Ready for APEC Summit:Medvedev

Vladivostok Ready for APEC Summit:Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok is ready to host the 2012 APEC summit.“On the whole, the situation with the preparations for the APEC summit is absolutely normal.

He further said,"There are of course some nuances, which should be corrected in the next two months, but the city itself and facilities are ready for the summit,” Medvedev told journalists.

Premier promised to continue the all-embracing development of the Russian Far East even after the APEC summit in the fall.“Me personally and my colleagues in the government must regularly pay visits here [to the Far East],” he added.

Medvedev, came to Vladivostok on Monday to inspect facilities being built for the summit, earlier said that the city is even better than San Francisco in the United States.

 APEC 2012 summit will be held in the Far Eastern city in September 8-9 will cost Russia about 600 billion rubles ($18.5 billion) spent on building over 50 facilities and rebuilding public utility networks.

Serena Williams advances into finals


Serena Williams is back in the Wimbledon final as the 13-time Grand Slam champion advanced to her seventh Wimbledon final by beating second-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 7-6 (6) on Thursday.

Williams finished with a Wimbledon record 24 aces, and won 20 of the 24 points on her serve in the first set.

Williams will face Agnieszka Radwanska in Saturday's final.

The third-seeded Pole beat Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
Radwanska trailed early in the first set, but won five straight games to close out the set and then took an early lead in the second.
Radwanska is the first Polish woman to reach a major final since 1939, when Jadwiga Jedrzejowska lost in the French Championships.

Govt Must Stop Import of White Asbestos to Prevent Public Heath Disaster New Delhi, July 5, 2012: Even as the central Government has publicly revealed that it does not favour carcinogenic chrysotile asbestos (white asbestos) mineral fibers anymore, a consortium of mostly Indian investors have successfully lobbied hard to rejuvenate the asbestos mines in Quebec, Canada. This mineral fiber has pre-dominantly been used in the construction industry before its incurable disease causing nature came to light. Government of India must resist efforts of Canadian government to dump the cancer causing fibers of white asbestos on to present and future generation of Indians.  
Unmindful of the epidemic of asbestos related diseases, Provincial Government of Quebec’s decision to loan $58 million to one of the country’s two remaining asbestos mines has outraged environmental, health, labour and human rights organizations. This loan will cover more than two-thirds of the cost of renovating and reopening the Jeffrey asbestos mine in Asbestos town of Quebec. Ignoring the moral responsibility to save fellow human beings in India from exposure to asbestos fibers, Quebec government has chosen to be act like a an impediment t o global cancer control as white asbestos causes lung cancer.
Disregarding the concerns of doctors and asbestos victims, this effort will also be funded by private investors, led by Balcorp Ltd., who will add another $25 million. As per figures available, Canada exported 750,000 tons of asbestos in 2006. India has been one of the major importers of Canadian asbestos. The Quebec government loan is aimed at reviving one of Canada’s last asbestos mines, assuring exports of carcinogenic fibers for another 20 years.
It is noteworthy that use of asbestos is banned in some 58 countries including the European Union, Japan, Australia and others. Due to lack of awareness of its health hazards white asbestos has been used in India but ministry after ministry is waking up its dangers and realize that safe and controlled use of asbestos is impossible as is indicated by the misinformation campaign of the global asbestos industry.
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) urges the Quebec government to reconsider its decision and cancel the loan guarantee and help the asbestos disease affected communities in the developing countries. This decision of the Quebec government gives the impression that in Canada ether asbestos industry and the government are one entity or government is subservient to the lust for blind profit at human cost.  
Government of India took the right step on June 21, 2011 when at a meeting of UN’s Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade disassociated itself from Canada and other asbestos producing countries in order to get white asbestos listed in the PIC list of hazardous materials. The listing requires would-be exporters of asbestos to warn governments of developing nations on what is being brought to their countries. It was unbecoming of Canadian government to block the efforts to list it under the parochial influence of Quebec asbestos interests.  
“The Government of India is considering the ban on use of chrysotile asbestos in India to protect the workers and the general population against primary and secondary exposure to Chrysotile form of Asbestos.” It has noted that “Asbestosis is yet another occupational disease of the Lungs which is on an increase under similar circumstances warranting concerted efforts of all stake holders to evolve strategies to curb this menace”. A concept paper by Union Ministry of Labour revealed this at the two-day 5th India-EU Joint Seminar on “Occupational Safety and Health” on 19th and 20th September, 2011. (http://www.labour.nic.in/lc/Background%20note.pdf)
Members of Indian National Congress led United Progressive Government, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs must act to make India free of carcinogenic asbestos fibers by paying heed to what Union Environment Ministry’s Vision Statement that says, “Alternatives to asbestos may be used to the extent possible and use of asbestos may be phased out”. (http://moef.nic.in/divisions/cpoll/envhealth/visenvhealth.pdf) It should respond to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)‘s notice issued to it. NHRC issued a notice to the central and states government in the matter of incurable asbestos related diseases on July 6, 2011 and reiterated on June 5, 2012. (http://nhrc.nic.in/dispArchive.asp?fno=2334)
Government of India should also set up a compensation fund to provide compensation to the asbestos victims by making asbestos companies liable for knowingly exposing workers, consumers and citizens to asbestos fibers. It may be noted U.S., Dow Chemicals Company has set aside $2.2 billion in compensation fund to address future asbestos-related liabilities arising out of acquisition of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and its Indian investments in 1999. If Dow can assume responsibility for asbestos-induced illnesses among victims in USA, why then it should deny responsibility towards the victims of Bhopal and its continuing toxic legacy. UCC formerly made products containing asbestos, and UCC once mined asbestos for sale to customers. The mine of the UCC was sold in 1985. Hundreds of thousands of people have sued asbestos companies that made products containing asbestos. Many manufacturers of asbestos-containing products are bankrupt as a result of asbestos litigation.
India has taken a position that it considers white asbestos as a hazardous substance. Mining of asbestos is technically banned in India. Trade in asbestos waste (dust and fibers) is also banned. Now government should take the next logical step and phase out asbestos use. Government of India should take immediate steps to ban this killer fiber to save the present and future citizens of the country from incurable lung diseases. After central ministries of environment, labour, mines and chemicals underlined the hazardous nature of asbestos and asbestos based products, ministry of railways has announced phasing out of asbestos based roofing materials from all the railway platforms in India. 
It is noteworthy that a massive protest against an upcoming white asbestos based plant of Kolkata based Utkal Asbestos Limited (UAL) Industries Ltd at Goraul, Vaishali, Bihar on June 14, 2012 has forced the district administration to order stoppage of construction work till further orders. A tripartite meeting on June 30, 2012 with the asbestos company, villagers and the district officials failed to satisfy the villagers. TWA was present at the meeting. In the face of global, national and local movement against such plants which are referred to as Time Bombs for lungs, the construction of lung cancer causing white asbestos plants in Vaishali, Madhubani, West Champaran and production in Bhojpur districts only shows that Bihar Government has adopted Ostrich policy.  Dr Barry Castleman’s world’s foremost expert on asbestos has sent a letter to Bihar Chief Minister asking to side with the villagers and not with the management of the asbestos factory to prevent public health disaster.
Earlier, Kerala State Human Rights Commission made three recommendations banning use of asbestos roofs in its order dated January 31, 2009. The recommendations are: “a) The State Government will replace asbestos roofs of all school buildings under its control with country tiles in a phased manner. b) The Government will take steps to see that the schools run under the private management also replace the asbestos roofs with country tiles by fixing a time frame. c) The Government should see that in future no new school is allowed to commence its functions with asbestos roofs.” Notably, after 2 years of struggle of villagers and all the left and socialist parties in opposition, Bihar State Human Rights Commission announced that the white asbestos plant that was under construction in Chainpur-Bishunpur village, Jakhra Sheikh Panchyat, Marwan block of Muzaffarpur has now been wound up. All State Human Rights Commissions are likely to initiate steps to make their states asbestos free by taking cognisance of the above facts. 
Not only in Bihar, villagers are protesting against the proposed hazardous asbestos cement roofing factory at Naagaon-Lebidi villages, Sohella Block, Bargarh district, Odisha. The company M/s Viswakarma Roofings Ltd. intends to establish 150,000 tonnes per annum of asbestos cement sheets manufacturing project.  In Sambalpur’s Parmanpur village in Odisha too villagers are agitating against the hazardous asbestos based factory of Visaka Asbestos Industries. It is noteworthy that Visaka Industries was promoted as a joint venture between G Vivekanand (a Member of Parliament from Indian National Congress) and the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation.
Such hazardous plants are being protested against in other States like Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh as well. Environmental groups in Himachal are against the setting up of lung cancer causing asbestos based plant at Trilokpur Road in Kheri village of Nahan Tehsil in Sirmaur district. They are demanding asbestos free State. A fact finding team visited Ramco Asbestos Industries plant in Maksi, Madhya Pradesh in July 2011 and found that workers were working with Russian asbestos with any protection from the killer fibers of white asbestos.  Another similar team visited four asbestos units near Vijayawada in August 2011 to take stock of the situation at the sites of Visakha Industries Limited, Jujjuru village, Veerulapadu Mandal, Krishna district, Hyderabad Industries Ltd, IDA in Kondapalli, Ramco Industries Ltd in Ibrahimpatnam and proposed factory site of Sahyadri Industries Ltd in Narasimharaopalem in Andhra Pradesh. The team found that villagers were never informed about the incurable diseases caused by exposure from asbestos fibers. The team interacted with former workers of asbestos factories. The workers informed that they were made to give written undertaking that the company will not be responsible for their health after they quit the job. Some of the members of the fact finding team like Dr Babu Rao, a Hyderabad based chemical scientist had raised objections at the public hearing of the asbestos plant of Sahyadri Industries Ltd which has been recorded in the official minutes on April 21, 2011. The team met a former worker who was sick from asbestos exposure near Visakha Asbestos plant at Jujjuru but he never got any treatment beyond routine medicines. Unmindful of human cost of such factories there was a public hearing for expansion of Visakha’s plant on June 6, 2012 amidst protest.    
Unmindful of the epidemic of asbestos related diseases due to past exposure, new factories are coming up in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh (UP). In UP’s Raebarely, the white asbestos based plant of Visaka Industries reveals that business enterprises have misled political parties like Indian National Congress, the central and state government into ignoring ban on it by almost all the developed countries. 
It is quite disturbing that asbestos cement based building materials are being used in the Union Rural Development Ministry’s Indira Awas Yojna. Central government’s Rs 10, 000 crore worth annual housing flagship scheme endangers the rural poor as it is using carcinogenic asbestos sheets to keep the cost below the ceiling of Rs 45,000 per house under the scheme.
Government of India should resist asbestos industry’s influence in public interest and desist from signing the “Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (CEPA) with Canada that allows the export of cancer causing Canadian asbestos to India. The New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada, the official Opposition party has revealed the efforts of Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper government’s to eliminate trade tariffs on exports of lethal Canadian asbestos to India. “It is a disgrace that the Harper government has opposed the global effort to ban this substance,” NDP said in a release dated December 5, 2011. (Reference:http://www.ndp.ca/press/harper-government-plans-to-increase-asbestos-exports-to-india)
TWA salutes the stance of NDP with regard to asbestos trade. Indian political parties like Indian National Congress should learn something from NDP. Government of India should pay heed to the World Health Assembly Resolution which requested WHO to carry out a global campaign for the elimination of asbestos-related diseases. The resolution of ILO in June 2006 stated, “the elimination of the future use of asbestos and the identification and proper management of asbestos currently in place are the most effective means to protect workers from asbestos exposure and to prevent future asbestos-related diseases and deaths.” How can such glaring scientific and medical facts be ignored? 
While it is quite alarming that Baljit Chadha, President, Montreal based Balcorp Ltd secured loan from Quebec government on June, 29, 2012 in the aftermath of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Stephen Harper on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Mexico. This appears to reveal the tremendous influence of Chrysotile asbestos cement products manufacturers association in India, global asbestos industry in general and Canadian asbestos industry in particular.  
In 2011-12, union budget, the Finance Minister had announced that those affected by asbestos related diseases will be covered under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna. Given the fact that asbestos related diseases are preventable but incurable, this is hardly sufficient. The only way to prevent the deadly diseases is to prevent mining, trade, manufacturing and use of all forms of asbestos and asbestos based products.        
For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), 9818089660, E-mail:krishna1715@gmail.com,

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