Senior Congress leader V. M. Sudheeran, who had been in the forefront fighting for the cause of the endosulfan victims, on Friday called for taking steps for speedy disbursal of relief and implementation of rehabilitation package to families of hundreds of endosulfan victims as recommended by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The Central and State governments should take urgent steps to disburse assistance as recommended by the NHRC, which in its report to the Centre, had suggested paying Rs. Five lakh each to the deceased victims and Rs. Three lakh each to the seriously ailing victims, Mr. Sudheeran said, addressing the mothers of the endosulfan victims, who were on an indefinite strike, under the aegis of Endosulfan Sathyagraha Samity since April 20 last.
The State government should also set up a competent tribunal to decide and ensure that deserving victims get matching compensation as no mechanism had so far been put in place to provide the assistance and medical facilities in view of the serious health hazards and related aspects concerning the hapless victims, he said.
The authorities should also take steps to revamp the Endosulfan Relief and Remediation Cell, chaired by the Chief Minister with the Social Welfare, Health and Agriculture Ministers as its chairmen, by ensuring active participation of various social and cultural organisations who had stood in the forefront in launching campaign against the use of deadly pesticide in the cashew estates of the Plantation Corporation of Kerala in the district, he demanded.
Steps also should be taken to ensure proper coordination of the activities of various agencies through a single window system for ensuring effective disbursal and implementation of relief and rehabilitation package, he said.
He urged Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to take initiative to end the ongoing indefinite strike, which has entered 23rd day on Friday by holding talks with representatives of various political parties, people representatives from the district and agencies associated in providing and coordinating relief and rehabilitation package.