Labouring with AIDS

The dreaded AIDS virus could sooner or later affect the organised industrial labour force in India, leading to an alarming increase in absenteeism by 50 per cent, states a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sponsored study.

Conducted by the Deepam Educational Society for Health (DESH), a Madras-based NGO, the findings of the study indicate that the Indian labour force is 10 times more susceptible to AIDS than the ordinary population. Absenteeism, a fall-out of the disease and its related illnesses, could thus affect industry adversely.

An interesting finding was that the 'risk behaviour' dropped with the increase in level of education. This means that less educated but highly skilled workers, who are most valuable to the industry, were most vulnerable to the ravages of the dreaded disease.