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Friday, 19 May 2017 14:57

Frustrated endosulfan victims in DK warn of fast-unto-death

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Mangaluru, May 19: Upset over the state government’s failure to provide them permanent rehabilitation and increased compensation, the endosulfan victims of Dakshina Kannada district have threatened to launch fast-unto-death this month.


Shridhar Gowda, president of Endo Virodhi Horata Samiti, a group fighting for endosulfan victims in the district, told media persons on Thursday that the endo-victims will be staging a protest at endo-affected Kokkada village in Belthangady taluk on May 27 seeking fulfilment of their demands.

“Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other elected representatives have been invited to the venue to listen to the grievances of the victims. If the government continues to ignore the protesters, the victims will commence fast-unto-death the following day,” he said adding that government will be responsible for the consequences.

State Presidents and District Presidents of all political parties, chief pontiffs of mutts and other religious heads have also been requested to support them in this protest, he said.

Coming down heavily on the incumbent government, he said that the 2017 Karnataka Budget hasn’t allocated a single paisa towards the well-being of endosulfan victims.

“As per the court’s orders, the people are supposed to have their pension credited to them at the beginning of every month, but the government has failed at implementing the same. Although, demands have been made several times to launch a website displaying the information on the provisional benefits for endo victims (including monthly pensions), the district administration is yet to take any measures,” he complained.

He said that eight rehabilitation centres have been established only for namesake with no basic facilities or amenities available. There are no qualified doctors or medicines in the other specialized care centres. They have monthly medical camps in Mangaluru, where instead of qualified or specialized practising doctors, medical students treat endo victims and don’t prescribe the right medicines, he claimed.

The Samiti has also observed that the families of several endo victims have been committing suicide, unable to avail proper facilities and due to lack of amenities in the rehabilitation centres.

The demands of the agitators are as follows:

Endo victims should be credited a monthly pension of Rs 5000 and get a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs; a permanent rehabilitation centre should be established in Kokkada and every taluk must have at least one centre; guardians of the endosulfan victims should be credited Rs 2000 as pension; the mobile hospitals that provide physiotherapy should also start providing medicines; a nurse to look after the bed ridden; provision of skill development programmes in care centres; families that lose a family member (endosulfan victim) should get Rs 5 lakh as compensation; an endosulfan victim’s family must get 50kgs of nutritious food, every month; they should be allowed to waiver their debt and avail zero-interest loans; one member in a victim’s family should get a government job; and free education for children in the victim’s family.

Harish Punja, Lawyer, High Court, Bengaluru, Dr Muralidhar Nayak, President, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Association for the Handicapped, Dinesh Shetty, President, Federation of the handicapped and Tukrappa Shetty, were also present at the press meet.


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