Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
It is evident from these figures that Indian workmen and their dependants are only gradually coming to a realisation of their rights under the Act, and this process is still far from complete. That there are large numbers of workmen who do not receive compensation when it is due to them would be clear, even if other evidence were not available, from the low proportion of claims made on account of disablement. The ratio of claims paid for permanent and temporary disablement to claims on account of death is much smaller than the ratio of non-fatal to fatal accidents even when due allowance is made for the effect of the waiting period in excluding claims. It is possible that a number of claims are not pressed because the amounts are trifling, or because the workman has received other benefits, such as hospital care or medical treatment, or because of the difficulties in the way of securing payment; but there must be a considerable number of possible claims which are not put forward because of ignorance of the law. We have given some consideration to possible remedies for this state of affairs. We have commented elsewhere on the. fact that. in most cases little is done to acquaint workmen with changes in the law made by the legislature for their express protection or benefit. When measures of any importance are passed, steps to this end should be taken by local Governments, by the distribution of translations, or preferably summaries in the vernacular, of the new provisions of the law. Although a knowledge of the Workmen's Compensation Act is spreading steadily in industrial areas, it would shall be of service if pamphlets summarising its provisions were made readily available to workmen; and if, as we hope, the Act is substantially amended, prompt steps should be taken to diffuse information of the amended law to those who are specially concerned.
By such methods, and with more intense work on the part of trade unions, knowledge of the law, which is evidently being diffused rapidly already, should become general among workmen.