BeyondHeadlines News Desk
KASARAGOD – In the pretext of chief minister’s visit to the town, the families of Endosulfan victims have geared up the protest against the apathy of government of Kerala towards resolving various issues pertaining to consequences of usage of the deadly pesticide.
Mothers of Endosulfan victims have been agitating from last eleven days, along with the support of eminent social and cultural activists and various organizations like Endosulfan Satyagraha Samiti, Kasaragod People’s Forum. Now, they have decided to launch a massive protest on 3 May and to submit memorandum to the chief minister Oommen Chandy, who will be visiting the town on 10 May.
According to protestors, the state government has failed to fulfill its assurances on an enhanced relief and rehabilitation package in a time-bound manner.
Dr. Mohana Kumar Y S, a physician practicing in the area since 1982 and associated to Pesticide Action Network (PAN), who was pioneer in highlighting this issue in way back 2001 by keeping the record of the cases coming to his clinic for treatment, told newzfirst.com, “Though National Human Rights Commission has directed to pay the compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the deceased and Rs. 3 lakh to the survivor, even after one and half years no government is bothered to implement it. State govt. is showing finger at Central govt. while central govt. itself has a minister of agriculture (Sharad Pawar), who bats for Endosulfan industry.”
“The issue of compensation has become more political than humanitarian; the Kerala congress, who assured many things during last assembly elections, too has started singing the same tune of Congress led union government, after coming to power in Kerala. Family of victims, who believed oral announcements of ministers that the loans borrowed by victims’ family are waived off, had stopped paying installments; but, they are now undergoing ‘recovery’ harassment from banks.”
According to DYFI leader, Jayanand, “In order to prove that there are no harm effects of Endosulfan, Department of health-Government of Kerala is hell bent to amend the report of committee; most of the assurances have remained over the papers. DYFI will observe a day-long hartal on 5 May in areas falling under the worst affected 11 Panchayat.”
Insisting on implementation of relief and rehabilitation packages, Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishath Kasaragod district unit too expressed solidarity with the mothers’ agitation, and has demanded that the State government should initiate steps to solve the problems faced by their families.
The Plantation Corporation of Kerala, a main culprit of Endosulfan disaster as alleged by victims, has washed its hands by referring the Mayee committee report which had said that no link had been established between the health problems in Kasaragod district and Endosulfan. Earlier, Shivaraman Committee and Calicut Medical College studies had confirmed that Endosulfan as the cause for Congenital problems, physical deformities, gynecological problems and cancer is prevalent in these villages.
The victims have suffered over 20 years of aerial spraying of Endosulfan over the cashew plantations from 1977 to 2000. (Courtesy: Newzfirst)