BENGALURU: In May 2015, three young women and a man died near Amlapur village in Kudligi taluk in Ballari. Two others were injured. They were collecting data for National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16), travelling from Chikkabalapura to Ballari. Three years later, no victim has received compensation.
Rupadevi (30), Basamma (34), Rupa (28), and a driver Manjunath (26) died in an accident while travelling from one district to another. Mallappa Ningappa Arabavi (26) and Chidanand Shanpageri (22) were injured. Mallappa spent `6 lakh on his facial fractures and dental implants. “I haven’t got compensation. I hold a Masters in Social Work and only got Rs 13,000. None of the others got compensation either,” Mallappa said.
Chidanand suffered injuries on his head, arms and legs. “The officials from Vimarsh came to the hospital where we were admitted and left after two days. I incurred an expenditure of `80,000,” he said. He worked as a health assistant in the survey and holds a diploma.Udit Bhandari, Director, Vimarsh, said, “People meet with accidents all over the country across professions. Our company staff was there till the survivors were discharged. Which dental implant costs Rs 25,000? They are contract workers, and poor and uneducated. They will always demand more money than what they have got. I haven’t received any bills.”
According to the bid document of the International Institute for Population Sciences, 2014, the field agencies must make provision and pay for group insurance to all the field staff deployed in NFHS-4. But the training selection letter of Vimarsh said that it will not be liable to cover any cost such as medical treatment but will provide group accident insurance to cover any work-related eventualities for the duration of the project. Bhandari refused to reveal if the company paid compensation to the families of the deceased.
Prasanna, who had worked as a coordinator for Vimarsh during NFHS-4 claimed that the company paid `1 lakh to each family of the deceased. The New Indian Express could not reach the families of the deceased to independently verify the same.