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India’s Firecracker Hub is plagued with poor healthcare

India’s Firecracker Hub is plagued with poor healthcare

Sivakasi, a city in Tamil Nadu, is widely regarded as the Firecracker Hub of India.

With more than 1000 registered firecracker manufacturing companies, this region alone meets about 90% of firecracker requirements in India. It generated  ₹800 crore in revenue last year.

This firecracker hub provides employment to over 8 Lakh people directly or indirectly. However, many of them end up working in dangerous environments.

The industry is teeming with frequent accidents and subsequent deaths. Owing to an abundance of flammable raw materials, fire and explosion accidents are very common. This month alone witnessed two deaths caused by an explosion at a fireworks unit.

But what makes the situation even worse is the lack of adequate healthcare support in the town.

Despite government intervention, hospitals in the region lack advanced burns units required to treat victims of firecracker explosions. Patients are instead referred to local private hospitals or those located 85 kms away.

Many are unable to afford the exorbitant expenses or the travel- which leads to their untimely deaths.

In order to help workers cover their medical expenses and lost wages in such cases, businesses usually get a Workmen’s Insurance policy. This policy provides due compensation to the workers in the event of workplace accidents.

This policy has been made compulsory for most industries. However, many of Sivakasi’s workers are uninsured, particularly those in unlicensed units.

Read about how an accident at a firecracker shop in October 2021 led to the deaths of 7 people

Further Reading

Learn more about Workmen's Compensation Insurance