Corporate care for mine workers

Published: Tuesday 31 July 2007

-- Mine workers' safety has moved beyond fulminations of activists and official confabulations. To corporate circles, it seems, going by an ad issued by Simplex, an engineering products company located in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. "How long coal miners will work manually?" the ad asks.

It's easy to mistake this poster-sized ad for standard campaign material. It contains a list detailing horrors of manual drilling, and in lingo resonates with activists' demands for mine workers welfare. There is also a call to ban drilling in underground mines.

But this is no mine-safety spiel. As we read on, it transpires that improvement of the miners' lot is contingent on use of Simplex drilling machines. Buyers are assured a payback period of six months. Undiluted altruism, or cashing in on misery? Take your call.

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