Befooling endosulfan victims:

endosulfan

Endosulfan victims staging a sit-in in front of the official residence of Chief Minister Ommen Chandy in Trivandrum in January 2014

It is more than three years now after the National Human Rights Commission gave its recommendations on compensating the victims of pesticide endosulfan in Kasaragod district in Kerala.

The State government led by Oommen Chandy rules with the motto of acting fast to achieve more in less time. However, even three years after the Commission gave its directive; the State is yet compensate all the victims and carry out the four recommendations given by it. The Central government is also to carry out another set of recommendations such as nation-wide survey of populations that have been affected by the use of endosulfan and supplementary efforts to support relief and remediation efforts of State government including establishment of a Palliative Care Centre.

endosulfan

Another view of endosulfan victims staging a sit-in in front of the official residence of Kerala Chief Minister Ommen Chandy in Trivandrum in January 2014.

The delay in implementing the recommendations by the State government belies its claim that it is a fast-acting government. In fact, several of the packages announced by the State and Central governments are in limbo including that for the endsosulfan victims. (The first of these was for the evictees of Moolampally for Vallarpadam project.).  It even appointed a committee, headed by retired judge C. N. Ramachandran Nair, to befool the victims and delay implementation of the recommendations.

This has forced the endosulfan victims to stage a protest sit-in in front of the Chief Minister’s residence. The agitation has since been settled though decision is pending on demands like rejection of the Ramachandran Nair committee report. However, doubts linger whether the government would only make a half-hearted attempt to carry out its promises just to tide over the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, whereas concerned, planned action is called for in Kasaragod.

 

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