Prayer for consideration in front of the Hon’ble High Court for the purpose of granting relief to the Endosulfan Victims

Below is the prayer for consideration in front of the Hon’ble High Court for the purpose of granting relief to the Endosulfan Victims:-

(Dr. Ravindranath Shanbhag writes: Our impleading petition on Public Interest Litigation on Endosulfan case is coming before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka on 17th December 2013. In addition to the prayer made in our petition we have requested our advocates to present our views on the basis of recent developments in respect of the endosulfan tragedy.)
1.) Now there are two rehabilitation centers in South Canara District, each of them looking after 30 to 50 victims. These centers can take care of those endosulfan victims, who have less than 50% disability, who can walk around. Those immobile victims who have above 70% disability cannot be looked after by the parents once they grow. This problem becomes very serious where both the parents have deceased. Therefore, setting up of a permanent residential facility to look after the victims is very necessary. This facility will look after their medical needs and also take care of them throughout their life. Such a facility need not have doctors but one nurse is required for every 10 patients. At least, one such facility of 500 beds is required in each of the twelve Taluka’s of Mangalore, Udupi and Karwar districts.

2.) A mobile unit with facilities to treat emergency cases should be provided in each of these districts.

3.) According to estimation every day four to five either physically handicapped or mentally retarded children are born in the endosulfan sprayed area. Therefore it is very necessary to prevent a birth of such children. However, mental retardation cannot be identified at pre-natal stage but certainly physical abnormality can be detected during the nineteenth week of pregnancy. Since, medical termination of pregnancy is legal up to the twentieth week of pregnancy, the would be mother will have a chance to prevent the birth of a physically abnormal child. Usually, educated and the rich women have the luxury to get the facility of ultra Sound Scanning in urban areas. Mostly, those residing in endosulfan affected areas are very poor and illiterate. The first opportunity they have to see the child is only after the delivery. Therefore,the State government has to provide free scanning facility to pregnant women in all the twelve Talukas affected by Endosulfan. The would-be-mothers shall be given a choice either to keep or abort the physically abnormal feotus. There will be no compulsory termination of abnormal feotus. Since the entire programme is being conducted under the direct supervision of the Health department there will be no chance of misusing this facility for the disclosure of the gender determination. The scanning programme to the pregnant women would be more economical and sensible than paying huge compensation to the victims after the birth.

4.) In an ICMR funded study, Dr. Pratap Kumar and others did a detailed study of 313 endosulfan exposed subjects belonging to Padre Village and compared them with control subjects of Kumbale village of Kasargod Taluk for the cytogenetic damage and reproductive hormone profile. They have declared that the chromosomal aberration in the endosulfan exposed population is significantly higher compared to unexposed control populations. The cytogenetic study also revealed significantly higher level of genetic damage (for both micronucleus count and sister chromatid exchange) compared to unexposed control subjects. Based on these findings the High Court of Karnataka has to order ICMR to continue this work so that genetic abnormality can be identified in the boys and girls of marriageable age. This can prevent birth of children with deformities caused by genotoxicity, in future.

5.) Scientists from Southern California University and South Korean University, have identified several species of algae which detoxify the endosulfan to non-toxic endosulfan triol. They have developed methods which have been proved helpful in purifying ground water contaminated with endosulfan. ICMR may be directed by this Hon’ble Court to fund the universities to take up similar projects wherein alternative methods can be developed to suit Indian conditions. It is already reported even the ground water has been polluted by continuous spray of endosulfan in the twelve Talukas of Karnataka. Shifting of affected families from these places is almost impossible. At any cost the ground water has to be purified before human consumption. This is the only way to tackle the problem faced by the residents of the villages like Nettenige, Karnnuru, Ishwaramangala…etc where there is a possible danger of dumped endosulfan by the Cashew Development Corporation, in their cashew gardens.

6.) To be at par with the package released to endosulfan victims by the government of Kerala, the Karnataka High Court may order the Health Ministry of Karnataka to pay Rs. 5 Lacs  compensation to each victim and their monthly pension may be fixed up to Rs. 5000/- depending upon the severity of disability.

7.) Every victim should be provided with a smart card and the family of the victim should be given all the facilities of BPL card.

8.) The entire rehabilitation programme and distribution of compensation package has to be monitored periodically under the direct supervision of the court. Database of each victims profile has to be maintained in order to detect any misuse of funds.

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