Package for endosulfan victims in Kerala

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 25, 2013 23:30 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government today announced a comprehensive package, including free treatment, ration and pension, to people affected by the aerial spraying of pesticide endosulfan in Kasargod district.

There has been an apprehension that the current financial assistance to victims of endosulfan would come to an end after five years, which was totally baseless, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters here.

He was speaking after chairing a meeting to discuss issues connected with the health problems faced by people of Kasargod following the spraying of endosulfan in cashew farms in the district in 1990s.

The package includes placing the families of victims in the below poverty level (BPL) category, free treatment and ration and monthly pension to cancer patients, apart from the bed-ridden and mentally retarded.

With announcement of the package, the more than a month-long indefinite fast organised by Endosulfan-affected People's Front pressing for a compensation package was called off tonight, Front Convenor Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan said in Kasargod.

The package will also take into account the National Human Rights Commission's recommendation of Rs five lakhs to the families of the deceased.

As per its recommendation, out of the 734 affected families, the government had given compensation to 600. Remaining would be settled after verification of records for proving their eligibility, Chandy said.

A committee will also be formed for establishing a tribunal for legal proceedings against the manufacturer of endosulfan. The state Home Secretary will be the convener of this committee with the Advocate General and the Director General of Prosecution as its members, he said.

Chandy said he expected the wholehearted support of all sections of people for the successful implementation of the new package.

The meeting was attended by ministers Aryadan Mohammed, M K Muneer, K P Mohan and political and front leaders from Kasaragod district.

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