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Endosulfan-Affected in Karnataka to go on Hunger Strike For Better Compensation

People affected by endosulfan insecticides in Karnataka are planning a hunger protest on Saturday near Mangalore, demanding better rehabilitation and compensation.

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Updated:May 22, 2017, 5:41 PM IST
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Endosulfan-Affected in Karnataka to go on Hunger Strike For Better Compensation
File photo of a farmer spraying pesticide. Representative image. Photo: Reuters

Bengaluru: People affected by endosulfan insecticides in Karnataka are planning a hunger protest on Saturday near Mangalore, demanding better rehabilitation and compensation.

About 15,000 ‘endo-sufferers’, as they call themselves, are expected to participate in this strike, to draw the attention of the government to their plight.

The protest will be held in Belthangady of Dakshina Kannada district.

“For more than 35 years, people in Karnataka have been suffering from the ill-effects of the insecticide. The Karnataka government has turned a blind eye to these victims by not giving any compensation to them,” said Shreedar Gowda, President of Endo-Virodhi Samithi Kokkada.

There are nearly 12,000 endo-sufferers in Karnataka alone, who will be joined by their families during the protest too. These victims suffer from severe disabilities and medical facilities to treat them are inadequate. Medical camps are conducted in different taluks but only medical students cater to the patients.

Despite the High Court order, the Karnataka government has given very less compensation. The compensation is Rs 1,500 for victims with a 25 – 60 percent disability, while those with more than a 60 percent disability get Rs 3,000 as monthly pension. There are no rehabilitation centers either, Gowda said.

“Our demand is a compensation of Rs 10 lakh per person and Rs 5,000 per month pension along with 5kgs of nutritional food,” he said.

He also said, “Children are born with disabilities and parents take care of them until they are alive. But once they die, the children are left alone with no one to take care of them. So instead of leaving their children alone, there have been cases of parents killing their children and committing suicide after that.”

In Kerala, endo-sufferers got a compensation of Rs 5 lakh, apart from a monthly pension, and rehabilitation centers have been set up exclusively for them after a Supreme Court order.

In Karnataka, 92 taluks have endo-sufferers in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Uttar Kannada.

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