Bangalore, August 21: Fed up with the the BJP government's cold response to their sufferings, several endosulfan victims in Karnataka have sought divine intervention.
The Endosulfan Virodhi Horata Samithi, Kokkada, la-unched a campaign on August 2 to draw the government's attention to the plight of endosulphan victims: the samithi sent postcards to the chief minister's office. But not all of the 28,000 postcards, which are meant to make chief minister Jagadish Shettar understand the gravity of the situation, have reached him.
Some of them have been posted to Lord Ganesh at the Southadka Sri Mahaganapa-thy Temple, Kokkada, and Ullalthi Daivasthana at Boodujaalu. One of the cards read: "We cannot bear the suffering. Please end our woes else give politicians the wisdom to understand our suffering and help us get relief."
Sridhar Gowda, president of the samithi, said many victims from his village have sent the postcards to the two temples. "Victims from other villages have sent postcards to other temples nearby. Some of the victims have even demanded euthanasia from the chief minister if he cannot grant them relief," he said.
Gowda went on to say that there were many victims in the age group of 2 to 26 who are bedridden. "If they are granted relief, they can afford treatment to live comfortably for another 30 years. The government should end their suffering," Gowda said.
In February 2010, 211 families from six villages in Belthangady and Puttur taluks got Rs 50,000 each as relief. The government decided to sanction monthly pensions for 231 persons rendered physically handicapped by the chemical. Of the 231,103 of them were to receive monthly pension of Rs 400 and the rest Rs 1,000.
Sridhar Gowda said the government must implement the Kerala model of rehabilitation in the state to do justice to the victims.
There are about 6,000 victims in the 92 villages of Sullia, Belthangady, Puttur and Bantwal. Puttur is the worst with 31 villages affected.
A 2004 survey done by the department of women and child development and health found out that Panaje in Puttur Taluk had 65 cases, of which 30 people had developed various forms of disabilities in varying degrees. About 15 persons were intellectually challenged by various degrees, eight were blind and seven had physical deformities. The deformities in the rest of the cases were trauma related.
In Mardala Bethany Special School, there are 56 children from Bilinele and Kutrupady, between the age group of 9-13, affected by endosulfan. There are over 40 children who have not been sent to school because of various reasons.