Wednesday 5 October 2022 6:50 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Oct 5: On October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Dayabhai, a lifelong human rights and social activist, opened an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Secretariat in Kerala State’s capital city, Thiruvananthapuram. Even at the age of 80, Dayabhai has no hesitation in lying on the roadside for justice and be on hunger strike for Endosulfan victims.
Endosulfan sufferers have long fought for fair compensation, adequate facilities for medical care, and inclusion of all victims on the list of beneficiaries. The Kasargod district collectorate and the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram have both seen protests by the parents of Endosulfan victims in the past because they feel that the state has been indifferent to their repeated requests for help.
Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan, the executive director of an action committee for Endosulfan victims, claims that over 1,031 Endosulfan victims have not yet been included to the government’s list of Endosulfan victims.
Dr Biju’s docufiction movie, Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (2015) highlights the pain and misery of children’s lives affected by Endosulfan. The children are shown as having names and personalities and interacting with the actor, perhaps not knowing that he is one.
Dayabhai, who regards Mahatma Gandhi as her childhood hero and upholds his philosophy of non-vioence, firmly supports human compassion as the key to achieving absolute happiness and fulfilment. For Endosulfan victims, Dayabhai has no concerns about starving herself in the cold or heat.
Dayabai started hunger strike by demanding modern treatment systems to solve the unique diseases in the contaminated Kasaragodan soil.
With THANAL SNEHAVEEDU, organisers like, Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan, Dayabhai puts forward the following demands:
• Add Kasaragod’s name in the AIIMS proposal.
• Prepare an expert treatment system in the district.
• Establish day care centres in Municipal Grama Panchayats.
• Organise medical camp to identify Endosulfan victims
Within the Endosulfan belt is Kanhangad’s Snehaveedu, a facility for early intervention and child development. It is advantageous for many children who are born with impairments. Endosulfan victims are one of the most marginalised groups in society, and Thanal Snehaveedu offers therapeutic services such physiotherapy, speech therapy, behavioural therapy, counselling, occupational therapy, vocational training, and IEP at a low or free cost. About 52 children with disabilities are currently served. The Snehaveedu project is looking for financial and sponsorship support from kind-hearted people.
You can direct your donations to:
KERALA GRAMMEN BANK, AMBALATHARA BRANCH, A/C No: 40437101008799, IFSC: KLGB0040437, SNEHAVEEDU NIRMANA COMMITTEE.
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