Remembering Shankar Dattaray Jog
Shankar Dattaray Jog, a former worker at a factory owned by the British asbestos conglomerate Turner & Newall Ltd. in Mumbai, India, died from asbestos cancer on July 19, 2016. Mr. Jog had been employed at the Hindustan Ferodo brake linings factory for forty years commencing his employment in 1961 in the maintenance department. By the time he retired in 2001, he had risen to the position of health inspector.
In early 2016, 76-year old Mr. Jog was suffering from breathlessness and fluid in his lungs; he realized he was ill. On April 12, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma following a CT scan and biopsy at the KK Raheja Hospital. He underwent several rounds of costly chemotherapy to buy more time with his wife Rohini, son Prasad and other family members and friends but it was not to be.
Rohini and Shankar Jog
Mr. Jog was never warned that working with asbestos could cause illness and the only protection he was ever given by his employer was a surgical mask. According to company records, Hindustan Ferodo only used chrysotile (white) asbestos; Mr. Jogs death from mesothelioma is definitive proof that exposure to chrysotile asbestos can and does cause the fatal asbestos cancer, mesothelioma.
Mr. Jog was a brave man. While it is believed that other Hindustan Ferodo workers could have contracted mesothelioma, their names are not known. Mr. Jog was adamant that the case against his former employer proceed in order to provide support for his family when he was gone. It is sadly all too likely that there will be others like Mr. Jog who succumb to occupational asbestos illnesses after decades of dedicated service. We hope that his actions will not only inspire them to fight for their rights but also be a source of comfort for those he has left behind. We will remember him.
August 4, 2016