Kokkada endosulfan daycare unit stays closed

Kokkada endosulfan daycare unit stays closed

For the fifth day in a row, the daycare centre for endosulfan victims in Kokkada in Belthangady taluk, remained closed on Thursday.

The second daycare centre for endosulfan victims in Koila in Puttur taluk which had remained closed until Wednesday opened on Thursday with skeletal staff reporting for duty.

The smooth functioning at the daycare centre was disrupted for the second time in the history of the eight year-old Kokkada centre.

Parents and caretakers of endosulfan victims had launched a non-cooperation movement. Their pleas to re-award the contract (of running the centres) to Mangaluru-based Seva Bharathi was ignored by both the District Health Officer Dr Ramakrishna Rao and the DC.

The parents even submitted memoranda to Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil S.

‘Arm-twisting’

Instead of taking the parents into confidence, the district administration, the district Health and Family Welfare Department resorted to arm-twisting in order to browbeat parents to withdraw their non-cooperation movement.

Beltangady Tahasildar Dr Ganapathy Shastry convened a meeting of parents in Kokkada on Tuesday. He warned them that the centre would be closed and they would lose all benefits.

Warning

“The DHO had issued a similar warning and threatened us to get all the welfare schemes including the monthly stipend suspended,” --a parent revealed on condition of anonymity.

With the district administration adopting a ‘wait-and-watch’ approach, Seon Ashram was awarded the contract of running six daycare centres in the district.

A final meeting of parents and caretakers will be held in Kokkada on Friday.

DHO’s U-turn surprises people

RTI activist Sanjeeva Kabaka said the Health Department’s decision to award the contract of running the six daycare centres for endosulfan victims in Dakshina Kannada was a complete flipflop of its earlier decision.

Kabaka produced documents that revealed that on October 18, 2014, the Health Department had written to the principal secretary on awarding the contract of running four new daycare centres in Vitla, Bellare, Panaje and Kaniyuru to the district Social Welfare Department. “Now, the department’s decision has raised eyebrows,” he stressed.

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