March 17, 2013

Mohankumar, well known environmental activist, is on the 15 th day of indefinite fasting demanding that  Govt of Kerala should comply with the relief and rehabilitation programme for endosulfan victims over 11+ panchayats in Kasargod district , as recommended by the NHRC .
People from all walks of life and from different parts of Kerala have so far visited the sathyagraha pandal near new bus stand, Kasargode . The sathyagraha is organized by the Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani (peoples front for the endosulfan affected) and started on 18th February with Pulloor Krishnan and Subhash Cheemeni beginning the hunger strike. After they were arrested by the police using force , Dr D Surendranath took over on 26th Feb, who was also arrested and forcefully removed by the police on March 2.
The govt should immediately talk with Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani and should meet their just demands .
The Government of Kerala should note that its continuing arrogance , even after years of struggle by the endosulfan survivors and victims and in the face of grave threat to the life of of A Mohankumar after 15 days of fasting , is anything but a minimum sensitivity to peoples will and democratic protests.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan on 14Th march  said it was appalling that the State government did not recognise infants and children with genetic deficiencies in endosulfan affected regions as victims of the unregulated use of the pesticide.

Speaking at a meeting to support the indefinite fast by endosulfan victims scheduled to commence here soon, Mr. Achuthanandan said the ruling front had cut down the number of beneficiaries of the endosulfan relief scheme from 4,182 to 1,613.

He said the State and Union governments had conspired to undermine the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission to alleviate the plight of endosulfan victims.

The government had agreed in principle that the population in 27 panchayats and three municipalities were severely affected by the pesticide. However, it limited financial aid to 11 of the affected panchayats. The Union government had overturned the previous Left Democratic Front government’s pension scheme for the victims, by limiting it to five years. Mr. Achuthanandan urged civil society in the country to support the cause of the hapless victims.

Human rights activist B.R.P. Bhaskar was present.



NAPM expresses solidarity with anti-Endosulfan fast:Demands immediate justice

We express full solidarity with the indefinite fast being undertaken at Kasargod Kerala, seeking justice for the Endosulfan victims. We are deeply concerned and angered by the state government’s neglect of the plight of the victims, especially women, children and aged, for whom neither preventive nor curative health care measures are being effectively undertaken. There are ample amounts of physical and scientific evidence available of the dangerous impacts of Endosulfan, a highly toxic organochlorine pesticide on human and other beings.

We condemn the attitude of Oomenchandy Government, which, despite, full knowledge of the serious situation and in spite of requests from the people and their organizations has not responded in an adequate manner nor has it they taken any legal and punitive action against the authorities concerned and the industries who have been involved in a criminal way. We express our deep concerns for those fasting including Mohan-ji, as the fast has reached its 25th days and shall squarely hold the Government responsible for the health and safety of those on fast.  We believe that the Government is fully liable for the irreversible damages to populace not just at Kasargod, but also Idukki, Palakkad, Dakshin Kannada, Kodagu and Udupi.

We demand reparation from the government and criminal action against the pesticides companies. We are of the firm opinion that the life of citizens and the natural resources of this country are far more important than the profits which companies will make at our cost.

We also demand immediate justice to the thousands of families who have lost their dear ones due to Endosulphan spray and seek immediate government intervention for complete health care of thousands others who continue to suffer due to severe physical and mental deformities. We condemn the rabid advocacy of business interests over people’s interest and demand a complete ban on the use of Endosulfan and other such pesticides.

We express our deep anguish at the attitude of both the Central and State Governments, the Corporations who are responsible for the creation of irreparable and serious health disorders on our population and support the demands of the Endosulfan Protest Action Committee, Kasargod (Endosulfan Virudha Samara Samithi), including:

1.      A permanent ban on Endosulfan all over the country.

2.      Proper relief, rehabilitation and compensation to all the survivors of Endosulfan.

3.      Severe legal action including criminal prosecution of the corporates, central and state government authorities who were responsible for causing & continuing to cause irreversible health disaster on the victims & their families ,

4.      A complete review and assessment on the use of chemical pesticides in India by unbiased researchers.

5.      A permanent ban of all dangerous chemical pesticides which are already banned in other countries & which have a potential of serious public health & ecological disasters, issues of Safety & Bio-safety be given priority over commercial interest.Medha Patkar            C. R. Neelakandan      Krishnakant   Madhuresh      Seela      Meera Contact: 09423965153 | 09818905316

For the past 4 decades people in Kasargod have suffered from heinous use of pesticide Endosulfan, which was continuously used on the cashew plantation by the Plantation Corporation of Kerala. This aerially sprayed pesticide has poisoned the water, the air and the soil for generations to come.

One of the most toxic pesticides on the market today, Endosulfan is responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world. In Kasargod, more than 3000 people living near, downstream and downwind of the estate were affected by debilitating rare diseases like mental retardation, cerebral palsy, cancer etc.

While the use of Endosulfan was banned in 2011, people are struggling for justice. For the past fortnight, people are on indefinite fast in Kasargod demanding:

1. To review the decision to give aid and help for just 5 years by the Government

2. To include all deserving people in the list which is still incomplete

3. Implement all the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission

4. Constitute a Tribunal for Compensation and Identification of the Real culprits

5. The debt load of the affected people be taken by the Government

6. To design a scientific rehabilitation program for the affected region

7. To remove and detoxify the Endosulfan reserves still remaining in the godowns.

8. To plan a proper Natural farming policy phasing out all toxic pesticides that kill, maim and contaminate soil, food and human bodies.

Organisations in Kerala have given a solidarity call for action on March 18, and Delhi Solidarity Group is planning the same in front of the Kerala House, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on the same day at 2pm in support of the ongoing indefinite fast and for the genuine demands of the people.