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No end to endo victims’ sufferings as 4 new care centres fail to take off

Daycare centres at Koila in Kadaba taluk and Kokkada in Belthangady taluk have only about 30% endosulfan survivors. Bill payment for groceries to the centres are pending for nine months now while the training centre for endosulfan victims in Ujire has not received monthly maintenance grant since February this year, sources said.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 03:20 IST

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The state government is yet to start four additional daycare centres for victims of endosulfan poisoning in Dakshina Kannada (DK) district. There are about 6,314 endosulfan survivors in the district. 

In 2014, the government stated in the High Court that besides the existing two daycare centres in Kokkada and Koila villages, a centre each would be set up in Vitla (Bantwal taluk), Panaje (Puttur taluk), Bellare (Sullia taluk) and Kaniyoor (Belthangady taluk).

“The department of health and family welfare had identified villages that had more than 100 endosulfan victims to set up these centres,” said activist Sanjeeva Kabaka. 

Pushpalatha used to travel daily for nearly two hours from her house in Panja in Sullia taluk to take her son Karthik C B, who has physical and learning disabilities, to the day care centre for endo victims at Kokkada in Belthangady taluk.

With the help of staff in the day care centre, her son who was then 13 years old, learnt to walk and write.

“After the Covid pandemic, I could not travel and thus was forced to enrol him in a normal school. Now, he has dropped out and has decided to take II PU exams as a private student. If the proposed day care centre in Bellare, 10 km away from my house in Panja, had become a reality, my son would have been standing on his legs without being dependent on us,” she said.

The existing daycare centres are barely functioning. Daycare centres at Koila in Kadaba taluk and Kokkada in Belthangady taluk have only about 30% endosulfan survivors. Bill payment for groceries to the centres are pending for nine months now.

The transport charges of taxis engaged to pick up endosulfan victims from and drop them at their homes has not been paid for the past four months.

The training centre for endosulfan victims in Ujire has not received monthly maintenance grant since February this year, sources said.

District endosulfan relief nodal officer Dr Naveenchandra Kulal told DH that elections had delayed the release of funds and clearing of bills.

In 2018, one Sanjeeva, in his complaint to the Commissioner of Disabilities, had highlighted the government’s reluctance to start daycare centres.

Kulal said four day care centres were being realised in a phased manner.

The work on new buildings for daycare centres at Vitla (Rs 47 lakh), Panaje (Rs 47.2 lakh), Bellare (Rs 62 lakh) and Kaniyoor (Rs 20.91 lakh) had been completed at a total cost of Rs 1.77 crore.

“As each centre requires Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh every month, we have written to the government for funds,” Kulal said. 

Sanjeeva told DH that if the government had fulfilled the promises made in court, the lives of hundreds of endosulfan victims would have been saved. District incharge Minister and Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao did not respond to calls from DH.

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Published 01 July 2024, 03:20 IST

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