Bengaluru: Endosulfan victims and caregivers staged a protest at Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Wednesday with a slogan ‘Fight Against Endosulfan Save Next Generation’ and demanded timely disbursal Of Stipend.
Few film actors joined Endo Virodhi Horata Samithi from Dakshina Kannada and other organisations for the protest to draw government’s attention to the victims plight.
A victim’s mother who had come from Uppinangady said, “Narayan is 18 years old. But he cannot walk. Can I leave him alone in the house? One of his siblings has to stay with him. And he cannot go to school. A teacher comes home to tutor him.”
“The expenditure on his medicines alone comes to Rs. 2,000. On top of that, it has been six months since we got the stipend,” she said.
Abdul Sattar father of Ajmal and Aswan, Endo victims, said “We used to get the stipend every month, but now it has stopped,” he said.
Speaking to sources, Health Minister U T Khader after meeting the agitating victims said, “the Health Department had been disbursing the stipend up to March last year after which the Revenue Department took over. Around 199 of the 2,693 beneficiaries, who were availing the stipend, did not give proper details. The Mangaluru DC has taken measures to rectify this,” he said.
Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) Chairperson Kripa Alva met the protestors and promised to pitch for homes to house the victims, as many require constant care. “These homes should also provide medicines. Initially, we thought of asking for such homes in Udupi, Karwar and Belthangady, but the caregivers say there is a need for more,” she told The Hindu .
Minister Khader said that the government would agree, but the homes would have to be run by the commission.
Endolsulfan victims with disability of more than 60 per cent are entitled to Rs. 3,000 while those with disability between 25 and 60 per cent can expect Rs. 1,500.