On April 27, hundreds of endosulfan victims of Kerala's Kasargod district, their family members and well wishers will stage a day-long fast at their houses. Pictures and video footage of this demonstration wwill be shared on social media.
Endosulfan is a widely-banned pesticide with hazardous effects causing deformities and health conditions.
An action council of endosulfan victims is initiating the online demonstrations to highlight their plight that has intensified amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Among the 6,600 endosulfan victims of Kasargod, a large section with deformities have been under regular treatment at hospitals in Mangaluru. Travel restrictions have affected their routine check-ups and medicine availability.
A nine-year-old boy with deformities hailing from Kanhangad developed uneasiness due to irregularity in consumption of medicines and had to be admitted to a nearby private hospital. Later, some volunteers arranged medicines for the boy from Mangaluru. Similar is the plight of many endosulfan victims of the district, said Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan, leader of an action council of endosulfan victims.
While the government disbursed pensions to all the existing list of endosulfan victims, over 1,000 victims are yet to get any assistance. This includes 511 children.
An official of the Kasargod district collectorate said that the list of these children was already approved and is under process of being including in the list of victims.
Mr. Kunhikrishnan said that even while the government was not carrying out an effective drive against COVID-19, the voices of endosulfan victims should not get drowned. Hence the online demonstration was initiated.
Though the action council earlier planned to launch an indefinite stir at Kasargod from March 25, it was put off owing to the virus outbreak.