Laying out a road map for a comprehensive and sustained relief and rehabilitation package, the two-day national workshop on endosulfan ended here on Sunday pledging to ensure individual, social, and economic uplift of hundreds of affected victims and their families and to rejuvenate the environmental and ecological aspects, degraded by over exposure to the “killer” pesticide.
The workshop, — CONCORD-12 (Consultative Workshop on Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Endosulfan Victims and Rejuvenation of Ecosystem in Kasaragod district) underscored the urgent need to speed up the ongoing relief and rehabilitation initiatives to mitigate the complex issues faced by the victims.
The event, attended by around 700 delegates, including around 250 from other States, came up with concrete steps on issues concerning relief and rehabilitation of over 4,000 affected families in 11 panchayats in the district.
The concluding session was inaugurated by Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare M.K. Muneer. ‘Kasaragod Declaration’, a detailed documentation listing out the measures to be carried out to ensure relief and rehabilitation on fast track mode, was read out by district panchayat president P. P. Shyamala Devi.
The workshop had five parallel sessions on Health & Identification of Endosulfan Victims; Education, Agriculture and Eco Restoration; Social Measures and Activities of Endosulfan Cell; Sociological issues & Gender; and Action Plan preparation.
It has been decided to form a taskforce to coordinate the relief and rehabilitation measures being initiated by the ‘Endosulfan Victims Relief and Remediation Cell under the supervision of the district panchayat.
The workshop unanimously resolved to ask the Centre to treat the health hazards and ecological degradation as a national disaster and seek Rs.25 lakh each from Parliament members to fund the comprehensive relief and rehabilitation package.
P. Karunakaran, MP, who played a key role in hosting the crucial workshop, will allocate Rs.1 crore from his local area development fund for the victims.
A delegation will call on the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister to impress upon them the need to be part of the ongoing efforts to provide succour to the victims and their families.
A detailed project report to set up a national research centre to rehabilitate endosulfan victims in the district would be prepared within two months.
The workshop has decided to involve all local bodies in the district while evolving the 12th five-year plan to rejuvenate organic farming to restore the rich biodiversity of the area.
Inaugurating the valedictory function, Mr. Muneer promised the State government’s unequivocal support to speed up relief and rehabilitation programmes.
The paper also focussed on the need to upgrade the buds schools set up in the 11 affected panchayats to help differently abled children to lead a meaningful life.
The function was attended by local MLAs K. Kunhiraman (Trikarippur), N.A. Nellikunnu and senior State and district officials.