Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt

The pesticide was banned by the state govt after its widespread use in Kasargod harmed many.
Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt
Kerala Endosulfan victims allege negligence by state govt
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The Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani (EPJM) indicated their displeasure with the Kerala state government, and said that those affected are being neglected by the state. In a meeting held on Sunday, officials from EPJM reportedly said, “Endosulfan victims and their families, over the years, had been driven to lead a life of misery and any move to go slow on the issue would be resisted.”

At the meeting headed by EPJM president Muneesa Ambalathara, several members expressed their discontent over the government’s inaction towards aiding endosulfan victims. The discontent was a reference to the decision in the Endosulfan Rehabilitation and Remediation Cell meeting held recently. The major decision taken in the meeting was to add 77 names to the official list of victims, and all the other issues faced by the victims were allegedly ignored by the cell.

In 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crore as compensation to the victims of endosulfan contamination. The pesticide was widely used on several crops including cashews, cotton, tea, paddy and others until 2011, when the apex court banned its use and distribution.

Endosulfan was found to have severe neurotoxic effects. In addition, physical deformities and delayed puberty were also reported. Many babies were born with deformities and pesticide-related health complications. The use of the chemical has also reportedly led to the loss of numerous lives. Several studies have established a direct link between the use of endosulfan as a pesticide and the rising rates of health complications in Kerala’s district of Kasargod.

State authorities have in the past tried to cap a geographical boundary of victims, citing that those outside the boundary could not enlist themselves as victims of the pesticide spraying. However, EPJM members rejected this, as the agrochemical had been aerially sprayed for decades in the region and there was no exact method to determine which areas would not have been affected.

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