The State government will implement a Rs.5.60-crore health scheme named ‘Tejaswini’ for the benefit of endosulfan victims in the district, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar has said. The government would enlist a number of hospitals where endosulfan victims would get free treatment, he told mediapersons here on Tuesday.

Two modern ambulances would be operational from Wednesday. In appointing doctors, the government intended to accord priority to those domiciled in the district. Only seven of the 300 doctors posted in the district through the Public Service Commission opted to join service, Mr. Sivakumar said.

The State government is delaying the implementation of the rehabilitation package for endosulfan victims as directed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), P. Karunakaran, MP, has said.

Talking to mediapersons here on Saturday, Mr. Karunakaran said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had told him in Thiruvananthapuram on August 26 that a three-member Ministerial team would visit the district to sort out the confusion over the revised list of victims. The date of visit had been fixed as September 18. Any delay in the team’s visit would only aggravate the issue as the mothers of endosulfan victims had called off their 130-day agitation on August 27.

Keoladeo National Park (KNP) is an important wintering ground for thousands of birds that undertake a perilous journey over the Himalaya to make a seasonal home in a wetland ecosystem. However, this wetland is now getting polluted by various types of contaminants such as pesticides because of the agricultural practices in the catchment area from where the park receives water. Keeping this in mind, the present study has been undertaken to assess the organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues in the sediments inside and around KNP. Samples were collected from the different blocks of the park.

Displeased with its “vague” stand, the Supreme Court Friday told the Centre to clearly spell out by Monday if it wanted a country-wide ban on the use of endosulfan.

Irrational use of pesticides in lower Punjab and upper Sindh areas is found to be damaging environment as it has contaminated underground water, soil and even fruits and vegetables being grown ther

‘Union government bent on scuttling nationwide ban’

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) alleged here on Thursday that that the State government was trying to weaken the case of hundreds of impoverished endosulfan victims by refusing to implement the relief and rehabilitation package recommended by the National Human Rights Commission, while the Union government was bent on scuttling the orders for a nationwide ban on the “killer” pesticide.

The mothers of endosulfan victims of Kasaragod district have temporary withdrawn their agitation; but the struggle continues both at home and against the government.

Assistance for life-long care of disabled, which takes most of their time, is still a trickle though it is far better than some years ago. Availability of treatment has improved over the years in the affected region. Some patients are now getting home based palliative care and physical therapy.

Finding the talks with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy “fruitful,” the Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani, a people’s front in support of the victims, has decided to suspend the 130-day indefinite relay hunger strike by the mothers of the victims.

Mr. Chandy, during the discussions with a delegation, led by P. Karunakaran, MP, and district panchayat president P.P. Shyamala Devi, in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, promised steps to meet the demands raised by the mothers for the rehabilitation of the victims and their families as suggested by the National Human Rights Commission, Ambikasudan Mangad, leader of the front, said at a press conference here on Monday.

All endosulfan victims will be given due compensation by the government, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

According to a press note issued here on Sunday, the Chief Minister informed this to Kasaragod MP P. Karunakaran and Kasaragod district panchayat president P.P. Syamala Devi during a discussion he had with them. “What has been published now is a preliminary list of completely bed-ridden endosulfan victims.

The Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani has accused the State government of trying to subvert the endosulfan victims’ rehabilitation package proposed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

In a statement here on Sunday, the organisation alleged that the government was distorting NHRC’s recommendations thereby denying assistance to most of the victims and their families.

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