Puttur, Dec 20: Former state minister and MLA Shobha Karandlaje paid a visit to the Endosulfan victims residing in Kokada, near here, on Saturday December 19.
She gathered information on Endosulfan victims who are physically disabled, mentally retarded, and physically immobile.
The local social activists and BJP leaders accompanied Karandlaje. She spoke to 16-year-old Subramanya, 19-year-old Santhosh Menezes, 20-year-old Tulasi, 18-year-old Narayan and other victims. She was moved by the plight of hapless victims and their parents.
Addressing media persons, Karandlaje said that the deadly Endosulfan disinfectant was sprayed on cashew plantations spread across 800 acres in the areas near Kokkada.
“The impact of Endosulfan on local people including newborn children was not properly addressed by the past state administration. I have arrived at the location to gather first hand information on the side effects of Endosufan on the local people”, said Karandlaje.
She opposed the recent statement of union home minister that said India will once again allow the use of Endosulfan in the country despite it being banned by most countries across the world. She also urged the union government to totally ban the use of Endosulfan in the country as the past experiments across the country have proven its impact on the health of people.
Karandlaje also urged the union government to bear the medical expenses of all those affected by Endosulfan till date, and to award compensation of Rs 1,000 per month to all victims with disability of over 50 percent.
Meanwhile, she also assured the parents of victims that the entire Endosulfan issue will be brought to the attention of chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and also taken up at the assembly proceedings to ensure rightful compensation to the victims.
She also assured that it’s her priority to try to get a lump sum compensation of Rs 25,000 for each victim of the Rs 50 lac already sanctioned by the state in this regard.
Shobha was accompanied by local leaders Sridar Gowda, Sharada Rai, Kushalappa Gowda Poovaje, Cyril D’Souza, Mahabala Gowda, Subramanya Shabaraya, Narasimha Shetty, and Narayan Achary.
Apathy of Department Officers
Kokkada, Patrame, and Niddle, are lush green villages with numerous cashew plantations and farms. The deadly Endosulfan disinfectant was sprayed in the nearby plantations beginning in 1980, which has caused untold misery to local farmers and newborn children.
The department officers were lethargic in discharging their duties related to awarding rightful compensation to the hapless victims.
Among the victims that Karandalje visited, Subramanya is now mentally challenged while Santhosh is bedridden, but loves to watch cricket.
The department officer seems unmoved by the plight of innocent victims and has delayed awarding compensation and monthly disability income to the hapless victims, for varied percentages of disability.
The survey conducted by the health department reveals that a total of 426 victims were affected by the deadly disinfectant, out of which 137 are residing in the areas of Patrame, Kokkada and Niddle.
The local social activist Sridar Gowda has been pursuing the cause of Endosulfan victims in the neighbourhood.
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