Endosulfan agitation ends

Endosulfan agitation ends

Activist Daya Bhai also joined them in the strike on the MG road footpath in front of the Secretariat. She alleged that the government was denying the genuine needs of the victims. Instead of giving assistance in piecemeal, the government should ensure that all the deserved are properly taken care of, she said. (Photo: Special Arrangement)

The five-day long indefinite hunger strike in Thiruvananthapuram by activist Daya Bhai and mothers of Endosulfan victims from North Kerala district Kasargod came to end on Sunday with the Kerala government assuring to consider their demands favourably.

Children among the 1905 persons who were already found to be biologically plausible in 2017 will be included in the official list of Endosulfan victims. The district collector would conduct some preliminary verification. No restriction based on the boundaries of the panchayats they reside would be imposed.

The government also agreed to conduct fresh medical camps for the screening of endosulfan victims as many victims could not attend the screening conducted in 2017 as it was a hartal day. The government also assured that more BUDS schools for differently-abled would be opened in the Endosulfan affected locality.

 Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan invited representatives of the action council for Endosulfan victims for fresh talks on Sunday after the victim children and their mothers staged a 'emotional march' to the Chief Minister's official residence in Thiruvananthapuram in the morning to convey their plight. An official statement from the Chief Minister's office later said that the action council leaders agreed to end the stir following the talks.

Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan, secretary of the action council of Endosulfan victims - ‘Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani’ said that in the wake of a favourable decision from the government the strike was being called off.

Subsequently, Daya Bhai and mothers of the victims ended the five-day long stir. Daya Bhai said that she stood with the victims as their grievances were genuine.

The agitation was launched alleging that over 3,000 Endosulfan affected children were eliminated from the official list of endosulfan victims citing that they did not live in the eleven panchayats where endosulfan was used in plantations. But the action council demanded that people of adjacent panchayats should be also considered as endosulfan affected as endosulfan's aerial spraying had spread to nearby areas also.