Parents give 5 reasons to cancel Seon Trust contract

Parents and caretakers of endosulfan victims seen accusing the Seon Ashram's staff of ill-treating endosulfan victims to Beltangady MLA Harish Poonja at the day care centre for endosulfan victims in Kokkada in Beltangady taluk. (DH File Photo)

The Puttur Assistant Commissioner H K Krishnamurthy, in his report, has said the memorandum of the parents of endosulfan victims had urged the district administration to cancel the contract given to Seon Trust to maintain the daycare centre at Kokkada, Belthangady taluk.

He said that as many as 24 parents had signed the memorandum, and cited multiple reasons for their demand.

The parents and caretakers told the officer, who visited the centre on August 23, that their children were forced to clean toilets and the floor.

Seon Trust’s staff did not deny forcing the children to clean toilets but justified it as an attempt to discipline them. The children who dirty the toilets by spitting gutka were made to clean them. 

The mother of a 10-year-old endosulfan victim said the children were not provided sufficient food. The children were provided two diapers.

Following protests from parents, the quantity of food was increased, but it lacked nutrition.

The Trust, however, maintained that the physiotherapist had been visiting the centre daily.

The mother of a 10-year-old child said the vehicle to pick up inmates reaches her house at 7.45 am. “The vehicle does not wait for me when I am late by a few minutes. During evenings, when I fail to reach the scheduled stop on time, the child is abandoned on the road. I have stopped sending my child to the centre,” she stated.

Kokkada Endosulfan Virodhi Samithi convenor Sreedhar Gowda K said that the staff at the centre had collected photocopies of pension orders, related documents and had threatened one inmate Naveen of cancelling his pension if he chose to drop out of the centre.

The staff clarified that they had collected the documents to ensure the smooth running of the centre.

Seon Ashram had not appointed any special educators and had removed the beds, depriving the crippled children of much needed rest.

The staff informed that special educator and a craft teacher was appointed.

The assistant commissioner, in his report too, observed that there were no beds at the centre.

Endosulfan victims to stage hunger strike

Kokkada Endosulfan Virodhi Samithi convenor Sreedhar Gowda K threatened to stage a hunger strike with endosulfan victims and their parents starting September 16.

He told DH that the 15-day period to monitor improvements at the centre will end this week. “Yesterday, we raided the centre and, barring one staff member, we found none at the centre taking care of the inmates,” Gowda said.

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