Udupi: September 11, 2015: Members of the district unit of the Karnataka State Disabled and Caregivers’ Federation staged a dharna in front of the District Health Office here on Friday seeking more and better facilities for those affected by spraying of pesticide endosulfan in Udupi district.
Addressing the protesters, Manjunath Hebbar, federation president, said that when the pesticide was sprayed in selected villages, it had spread to other nearby villages through water. Persons with physical disability in the surrounding villages should be examined to find out if their health was also affected by endosulfan. Any person affected by endosulfan, who cannot work independently, should be considered as 100 per cent disabled, they demanded.
Though the High Court had directed the State government to complete the work of identifying endosulfan-affected persons by March 2, 2015, and to provide them with free medicine, treatment and pension, this had not been completely implemented in the coastal districts.
The district administration should take steps to construct a Day Care and Rehabilitation Centre for those affected by endosulfan. The Department of Health and Family Welfare should provide proper scanning facilities for pregnant women, they added.
The federation had already urged the authorities to establish a rehabilitation centre for those rendered disabled owing to the spraying of endosulfan at Yedthare and Hosur villages in Kundapur taluk. The entire burden of bringing up children with disabilities was on the parents. If the parents of these children died, there was no one to take care of them. Hence a permanent rehabilitation centre should be set up to take care of such children as the responsibility of raising them lies with the government. A separate Endosulfan Cell should be set up at the State-level to monitor the progress of persons affected by the pesticide, and the federation should be given a representation in the cell, Mr. Hebbar added.
He also urged the authorities concerned to complete the survey to identify endosulfan-affected persons in the costal districts.
Federation office-bearers G.N. Nagaraj, Venkatesh Koni, Krishna Poojary, Babu K. Devadiga, and Radhakrishna D. were among those present.