Card may be used to avail medical benefits and ration

The district administration has set January 20 as deadline for officials to complete the work of issuing identity cards to all victims of endosulfan in Dakshina Kannada.

Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim, who held a meeting with officials and hospital representatives on Thursday, gave this direction. The card will be used to avail medical benefits, and ration from the Food and Civil Supplies Department.

He said fund had been sanctioned to set up six additional day care centres in Moodbidri, Vittla, Thingalady, Nellyady, Kaniyur and Bellare, in addition to such centres in Kokkada and Koila.

District Vector Borne Disease Control Officer Arun Kumar S.B. said mobile medical units were in Puttur, Sullia, Belthangady and Bantwal for bedridden victims. Two additional mobile units were proposed to be stationed at Belthangady and Thingalady with a medical officer, staff nurse and driver.

Thulasi Maddineni, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zilla Panchayat, Dakshina Kannada, said someone should visit bedridden victims at least once a week.

She said, “It’s too early to comment” when asked about setting up a permanent residential facility for victims with no parents.

Mr. Kumar said that the district received Rs. 1.9 crore for endosulfan victims so far this year.

The total number of victims is 2,479, including 1,073 in Puttur, 974 in Belthangady, 266 in Bantwal, 139 in Sullia and 27 in Mangalore. Of them, 179 are bedridden. While 15 victims died before the government survey, two victims died after the survey.

The proposed compensation is Rs. 3,000 per month for bedridden victims and those suffering from severe mental retardation and disability of 75 per cent (506 victims); and Rs. 1,500 per month to victims with 40 per cent to 75 per cent disability and cancer patients (1,056 victims). Mr. Ibrahim said, “There is no Government Order for this amount. It is too meagre an amount.”

We are never invited to meetings: activists

Thulasi Maddineni, CEO, Zilla Panchayat, Dakshina Kannada, asked if there was anyone from NGOs working for the victims.

A. B. Ibrahim, Deputy Commissioner, said officials should meet NGOs and other stakeholders.

Ravindranath Shanbhag, president, Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi, which works for the endosulfan victims, said the government never invited the organisations to relevant meetings. Two months ago, he was informed of a meeting in Vidhan Soudha, Bangalore, only one day before.

Though activists were ready to attend meetings at the shortest possible time, they were not told about it.

Mr. Shanbhag said, “They never informed us (about the meeting). We were waiting for this. This is not fair.”

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