Kids disabled by use of pesticides & mothers protest outside Kerala Secretariat

Travelling from places as far off as Kasargode district in the north Kerala, children disabled by the use of the pesticide endosulfan along with their mothers protesting in front of the Secretariat, the state administrative headquarters, to urge the government to give compensation to all victims.

Many of the mothers talked about the pain and suffering they have been undergoing. Nearly 250 people, including children and women, are participating in the protest under the banner of Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani.

They have said that if they don't get compensation by mid-March, they will start an indefinite strike. Their main demand is to include all the victims, battling various diseases from mental and physical disability to cancer, in the cashew plantations of the state-owned Plantation Corporation in the district. People of 11 panchayats and Kanjagad Municipality have been affected by the spraying in the district.

The spraying began in the late 70s and continued for more than 20 years. The resulting diseases have been transmitted to generations over the years. Hundreds of children are born with congenital defects. .

They are also demanding the implementation of the 2017 Supreme Court order regarding compensation for the victims. The SC had directed that a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and lifetime treatment should be given to each of the victims. So far the government has not followed the SC order.

Protesters also want a permanent tribunal to be set up to find out the new victims to be included in the list and to ensure that compensation is given to all deserving people.

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