Maintaining that the Kerala government was determined to “dilute the spirit” of the relief and rehabilitation packages suggested by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the ‘Endosulfan Janakeeya Peeditha Munnani’ has urged the Commission to ask the administration to fully execute its recommendation to help the deserving victims of the “killer” pesticide spraying in the district.

In a letter dated August 20 to the Chairman of the NHRC, Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan, Convener of the Front, which had been spearheading indefinite relay hunger strike by mothers of endosulfan victims in the district since April 20,

Alleging that the State government is “diluting the spirit” of the relief and rehabilitation packages suggested by the National Human Rights Commission for endosulfan victims, the Endosulfan Janake

Issues of endosulfan victims

Social Welfare Minister M.K. Muneer has said the government has an open mind to address the issues raised by the mothers of endosulfan victims. Dr. Muneer was replying to queries of mediapersons on the demands raised by the mothers of endosulfan victims, whose indefinite relay hunger strike is nearing four months.

“It is our responsibility to identify the real endosulfan victims and include them in the list. The relief provided by the government should reach the original victims of the tragedy,” said Minister for Social Welfare M K Muneer. He was speaking after inaugurating the valedictory function of the two-day national workshop CONCORD 2012 (Consultative Workshop on Rehabilitation of Endosulfan Victims and Rejuvenation of Ecosystem) held here on Sunday.

The workshop was organised by the district panchayat and National Programme for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disability (NPRPD) to draft a blueprint of rehabilitation and restoration of ecology in the 11 Endosulfan-hit panchayats of the district.

The State government will address all issues raised by endosulfan victims, Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer has said.

He was speaking to the media on Sunday after visiting women, all mothers of endosulfan victims, on the 94th day of their indefinite strike seeking speedy implementation of the assured relief and rehabilitation package. Interacting with the agitators, Dr. Muneer said the government was open to addressing their demands. He said the government had been lenient and empathetic to them.

Laying out a road map for a comprehensive and sustained relief and rehabilitation package, the two-day national workshop on endosulfan ended here on Sunday pledging to ensure individual, social, and economic uplift of hundreds of affected victims and their families and to rejuvenate the environmental and ecological aspects, degraded by over exposure to the “killer” pesticide.

The workshop, — CONCORD-12 (Consultative Workshop on Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Endosulfan Victims and Rejuvenation of Ecosystem in Kasaragod district) underscored the urgent need to speed up the ongoing relief and rehabilitation initiatives to mitigate the complex issues faced by the victims.

Sunita Narain, the director of the Centre for Science and Environment, said here on Saturday that the endosulfan victims in the district should be provided with more facilities. She was in the district to attend the National workshop CONCORD 2012.

Though appreciated the state government for giving the rightful recognition to the endosulfan issue in the district, Narian reminded the government that there were more to be done.

Equating the serious health hazards wrecked in the district due to the indiscriminate exposure of endosulfan pesticide for over two decades with that of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, acclaimed environmental activist Sunita Narain has said that the major task before the administration was to bring hopes and cheers back to the life of the hapless victims of the “killer” pesticide spraying.

“Assuaging the hurt feelings of the hundreds of victims of aerial spraying of the endosulfan pesticide in the state owned cashew estates in the district is the most important task before the administration and the State government and the local Member of Parliament had played critical role in partially assuaging the hurt feeling of the ill-fated victims and their families”, the Padmashree award winning environmentalist said.

After battling for life in abject deplorable condition, a five-year old victim of the “killer” endosulfan pesticide spraying in the district, passed away at his residence in Karadukka panchayat in the district, sources here said.

Mithun, son of Mohana-Pushpa couple, residing at Berla, had been afflicted with the physical retardation and under-growth and bed-ridden right from birth causing great deal of anguish and sorrow on those who chanced to see the plight of the boy.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will inaugurate a two-day national seminar ‘Concord - 2012’ (consultative workshop on comprehensive rehabilitation of endosulfan victims and rejuvenation of ecosystem in Kasaragod district) at the Chinmaya Tejus auditorium here at 10 a.m. on July 21.

The event would also be held at the collectorate conference hall and the district panchayat conference hall, P. Karunakaran, MP, told a press conference here on Wednesday. The event would focus on the need to provide time bound relief to hundreds of victims and their families, Mr. Karunakaran, organising committee chairman said.

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