Health dept should not mislead HC: Endo activist

Endo Virodhi Horata Samithi, Kokkada, President Sridhar Gowda has appealed to the health department not to mislead the High Court on the pathetic condition of endosulfan victims in the State.

Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, he said as per the official figure, the total number of endosulfan victims varied from time to time. At present, there are 2,300 endosulfan victims. The authorities had stated that it had distributed smart cards and monthly honorarium to all the victims. The state government has failed to pay a monthly stipend and identity cards to all the endosulfan victims identified in Dakshina Kannada district from March 1, as per the directions of the division bench of the Karnataka High Court.
The division bench of the Karnataka High Court had directed the State government to pay from March 1, a monthly stipend of Rs 1,500 to victims who have suffered disability ranging between 25 and 60 per cent.

Victims with more than 60 per cent disability were eligible for a stipend of Rs 3,000. A reality check has revealed that the smart cards have been issued to only 60 per cent of the identified victims.

The authorities should reveal the truth in its report which it will submit to the court on the condition of endosulfan victims in Dakshina Kannada, on Friday. If it makes any attempt to divert the attention of the court, then the victims will have no option but to end their lives.”
Gowda said “the health department had promised of free advanced treatment for the victims from March 1. However, the district administration had entered into MoU with the private hospitals of Mangalore, only on June 10. The district administration should enter into MoU with private hospitals in Puttur and Belthangady, for providing cashless advanced medical care for Endosulfan victims. There are only 20 to 30 victims in Mangalore taluk. There are more number of victims in Puttur and Belthangady taluks. It would be impossible for the bed-ridden victims to travel all the way to Mangalore to avail advanced treatment,” he said.
He said “activists have been demanding specialist doctors to visit Kokkada Primary Health Centre to diagnose the victims. Accordingly, the doctors had visited the PHC in the first week of April and had promised to supply prescribed medicines within a week. The medicines have not reached the PHC even after two months. Without proper medications, the woes of the victims who are mentally sick have increased,” he added.
He also said that scientific procedures used for identifying the endosulfan victims should be made known to all. Though the authorities have promised of skill development programmes in the day care centres, it is not implemented in reality. In an RTI reply, the health department had said that five endosulfan victims have died in the district. However, in reality atleast 10 persons have died only in Kokkada village.
“We believe in judiciary system of the country. If we fail to get justice for the victims, we have no option but to end our lives,” he added.
DH News Service

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