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BARC officer claims to be radiation victim
OUR CORRESPONDENT  MUMBAI | 30th Mar 2013

retired scientific officer from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, who has joined the anti-nuclear protest at Jaitapur, claims that he was a victim of radiation during his tenure at BARC. R.K. Gupta, 73, was handling the plutonium department at the plant for 15 years.

Gupta, who stays in Deonar, in the neighbourhood of the BARC plant, says that he first realised he was affected by radiation in 1980 when he was working as a scientific officer in the plutonium department. "At first I noticed patches on my skin that oozed water and blood. It wouldn't stop and I later found out that it was psoriasis, which later developed into skin cancer. Despite knowing this fact, BARC authorities continued to let me handle plutonium and ignored the fact that I am contaminating the surroundings and becoming sick," he says, showing the effects of radiation on his arms, stomach, back and behind his ears.

Between 1980 and May 1999, when he retired, Gupta was in an out of both BARC and Jaslok Hospital getting treatment for a variety of health problems. "I developed major bedsores and my condition became serious. Since then I have been operated upon seven times," says Gupta. He claims that he has difficulties to even go around doing his daily duties because of his dislocated hip and worsening psoriasis.

He says that his request to be issued a disability certificate at the time of retirement to avail the benefits for handicapped patients in government hospitals was not met by BARC authorities. "I have also not received my lawful dues due to my permanent locomotor disability incapacitated prior to my superannuation." "India is a big market for nuclear power plant manufacturers. All progressive countries are dumping power plants for their profit in India," he says.

 
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