Biomarker-based identification not yet in place: activist

Endosulfan Virodhi Horata Samiti alleged on Friday that persons disabled due to reasons other than endosulfan spraying are being identified as victims of the pesticide.

Speaking at a press meet, its president Sridhar Gowda said the Samiti had been demanding a biomarker-based identification system but nothing was been done. A biomarker is a method to measure the stage of a disease and help in diagnosing and preventing a disease or to track response of drugs given to treat a disease. (For example, finding the level of bad fats in the blood may indicate coronary problems.) He said, “Compensation should be given only to endosulfan victims.” He said that the process of giving identity cards had not been implemented fully; identity cards were given only to eight victims and pension orders have been given to only 100 victims.

Mr. Gowda said victims had been told the identity cards would be accepted for claiming compensation in “the nearest bank”, now they were insisting that victims should go to only State Bank of India, which is 50km away for some victims.

He said there was a ray of hope when the High Court issued directive on compensation to victims of endosulfan in the State, the government was showing no interest in implementing the directive.

Court’s directive

The court directed the State government to pay Rs. 3,000 per month to victims with 60 per cent and above disabilities; and Rs. 1,500 per month to those with 25 per cent to 59 per cent disability. He said, “What about victims with below 25 per cent disability, who are 600 in number?”

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