Wednesday 12 October 2022 6:47 PM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Oct 12: Over 20 years of aerial spraying of Endosulfan pesticide on cashew plantations in Kasargod district of Kerala and adjoining areas has left many with mental and physical disorders.
The health effects of the chemical include neurotoxicity, late sexual maturity, physical deformities, poisoning, among others.
People, especially newborns, have suffered deformities, health complications and loss of family members due to exposure to the agrochemical.
Social activist Daya Bai has been on hunger strike in front of the Secretariat in the state capital of Kerala, demanding improved healthcare infrastructure in Kasargod district, where hundreds of Endosulfan victims have been struggling due to inadequate facilities. Daya Bai (originally Mercy Mathew) is social activist from Kerala working for the upliftment of tribals in central India.
Currently the district’s residents were mainly dependent on hospitals in neighbouring Karnataka’s Mangaluru for intensive treatment. Many died due to delay in getting treatment especially during Covid-19 lockdown when the borders were closed.
The major demands of Endosulfan victims are as follows :
1) Government to include Kasargod district in the proposed list for All India Institute of Medical Science(AIIMS) unit to be established in Kerala
2) Daycare Centres to be setup in all panchayats and municipalities of Kasargod to provide better healthcare and therapy to the bed-ridden victims and to enable parents to go back to work
3) Conduct regular Medical camps to identify fresh cases of Endosulfan victims which have not been held for the last five years and provide compensation and rehabilitation
4) Completion of the construction of Medical College in Kasargod with Super-specialities for improved healthcare infrastructure
An online petition has been launched by Endosulfan Action Council & INAMS which will be submitted to Mr Pinarayi Vijayan (Chief Minister of Kerala), Kerala Health Minister Veena George, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The petition request the Government of Kerala to take immediate measures for honouring the life and dignity of Endosulfan victims by meeting their demands and to end the indefinite fast of Daya Bai alongwith the parents and relatives of the victims.
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