Says endosulfan victims are being neglected

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan on Thursday said it was appalling that the State government did not recognise infants and children with genetic deficiencies in endosulfan affected regions as victims of the unregulated use of the pesticide.

Speaking at a meeting to support the indefinite fast by endosulfan victims scheduled to commence here soon, Mr. Achuthanandan said the ruling front had cut down the number of beneficiaries of the endosulfan relief scheme from 4,182 to 1,613.

He said the State and Union governments had conspired to undermine the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission to alleviate the plight of endosulfan victims.

The government had agreed in principle that the population in 27 panchayats and three municipalities were severely affected by the pesticide. However, it limited financial aid to 11 of the affected panchayats. The Union government had overturned the previous Left Democratic Front government’s pension scheme for the victims, by limiting it to five years. Mr. Achuthanandan urged civil society in the country to support the cause of the hapless victims.

Human rights activist B.R.P. Bhaskar was present.