Kerala package for endosulfan victims | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Kerala package for endosulfan victims

The Kerala government has announced a special package for the victims of endosulfan, a pesticide that is said to have claimed more than 500 lives in the northern district of Kasargode.

delhi Updated: Nov 23, 2010 23:20 IST
HT Correspondents

The Kerala government has announced a special package for the victims of endosulfan, a pesticide that is said to have claimed more than 500 lives in the northern district of Kasargode.

The package includes better health facilities, higher pension, waiver of loans and rehabilitation of people suffering from ailments due to exposure to the toxic insecticide.

Chief minister VS Achuthanandan announced this after a meeting attended by representatives of victims, people’s representatives, non-governmental organisations and senior bureaucrats.

The government has granted a compensation of Rs 50,000 to families of each deceased. It has also decided to “substantially” increase the pension for the victims from the current Rs 500 a month.

A monitoring cell will be set up in the district to oversee relief distribution, the chief minister said.

The chief minister will also lead an all-party delegation

from the state to Delhi on Wednesday to canvass the need for an urgent ban on the highly dangerous pesticide in the country.

Several victims and human rights activists will also march to Parliament seeking a nationwide ban.

“Unless there is a countrywide ban, the menace of endosulfan cannot be stopped,” said P Mujeeb Rahman, president of Solidarity Youth Movement, a Kerala-based youth organisation.

India strongly opposed a global ban on endosulfan at two international conventions this year despite its obvious adverse effects.

“More comprehensive studies in different parts of the country will have to be conducted before considering a ban,” an official from the environment ministry said in Delhi.

The use of the dreaded pesticide was banned in Kerala in 2001 after indiscriminate use of the chemical in cashew plantations in Kasaragode for nearly 30 years caused chronic illnesses.

But the damage was done. More than 500 people have died in the district in the last 10 years and 4,000 more are still suffering from health ailments because of exposure to endosulfan.