Activists fighting for endosulfan victims said the Karnataka High Court’s interim order in favour of victims has shown light at the end of the tunnel.
A division bench of the Karnataka High Court has among others directed the State government to pay from March 1, a monthly stipend of Rs. 1,500 to victims who have suffered disability ranging between 20 and 60 per cent. Victims with more than 60 per cent disability were eligible for a stipend of Rs. 3,000. The High Court has also directed the State government to provide smart cards for all endosulfan victims identified by the State government in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Uttara Kannada. The interim order was following submission of report by amicus curiae Vaishali Hegde
Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of Udupi-based Human Rights Protection Foundation, who has been on the forefront in the fight for endosulfan victims, said the interim order had brought much-needed relief for victims who had been fighting for the last ten years. “It is good that the court is monitoring implementation of relief measures for endosulfan victims.” Dr. Shanbhag said he would help the State government in implementing measures announced in interim orders. “We will also place a report about the implementation from the victim’s point of view before the High Court when it hears the case in March,” he said.
Activist Shridhar Gowda, an endosulfan victim, said there was fear among victims that misinformation by officials might mar the implementation of the order.
“(But) the order is a step towards a better future and facilities for victims,” he said.