Welfare proposals of endo victims may be expedited

Welfare proposals of endo victims may be expedited

K C Kondaiah of Government Assurances Committee interacts with therelatives of Endosulfan victims and other stakeholders during a meeting held at the office of the deputy commissioner in Mangaluru on Wednesday.

Members of Government Assurances Committee, moved by the sight of crippling deformities in victims of endosulfan poisoning, promised to expedite proposals pending before the government for the past eight years.

The proposal included increasing monthly pension, providing nutritious food, building a permanent home, four additional day care centres and skill centre in Ujire.

The nine-member committee, led by K C Kondiah, visited Endosulfan day care centres in Koila (Puttur taluk) and Kokkada (Belthangady taluk) and later interacted with parents of endosulfan victims and other stakeholders at a meeting convened by district administration at the office of Deputy Commissioner here, on Wednesday evening.

When Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja highlighted the problems faced while admitting the endosulfan victims to private hospitals, empanelled by government, Kondaiah directed the district administration to convene a meeting of private hospitals in this regard.

“Hold a meeting and ensure that endosulfan victims with smart cards are admitted into the super speciality hospitals without any hassles,” Kondaiah said.

Joint survey

When members expressed fear of water sources being contaminated with endosulfan pesticide, he directed district administration to carry out a joint survey of open wells and borewells involving geologists and non-government organisation in villages (92 villages) exposed to aerial spraying of endosulfan pesticide.

The Committee also sought reasons behind the delay in disbursing pension to 426 endosulfan victims.

The committee also backed all kind of support to endosulfan victims like Abhijeeth from Koila day care centre, who had scored a disctinction in SSLC examinations.

Kondaiah told mediapersons that in 2013, the then members of Legislative Council, Nanaiah and Bharathi Shetty, had drawn the attention of government to the miseries faced by endosulfan victims. Their pleas (4503 and 4509/2013) were subsequently handed to the assurances committee. The members decided to visit the district in order to familarise themselves with the miseries faced by endosulfan victims and caretakers.

The committee would also recommend to government on awarding compensation to endosulfan victims who died from cancer or other terminal illness.

“A final report with their recommendations would be submitted to government after visiting Udupi and Uttara Kanara districts,” he said.

Committee members including S Ravi, Tejaswini Gowda, Arun Shahapura, Srikanta Gowda, K Harish Kumar, Narayana Swamy, M A Gopalswamy along with Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil S and others were also present.

MLA loses his cool

Harish Poonja flew into a rage when Mohammed Peer of Dakshina Kannada Endosulfan Virodhi Horata Samithi rushed to the defence of district health officials.

Poonja was highlighting the problems encountered by endosulfan victims while getting admitted to the super speciality hospitals when Mohammed Peer denied any such harassment being faced by the endosulfan victims.

Poonja, who lost his cool, said as an MLA he received nearly 10 calls daily from caretakers seeking his intervention to get their children admitted into private hospitals.

Endo Virodhi Horata Samithi-Kokkada Convenor Sridhar Gowda K also broke down and said suicide was the only option as officials lacked will power to implement welfare schemes meant for endosulfan victims.