Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader on Monday told the Legislative Council that the government has formed two committees to identify victims of endosulfan in the coastal districts and frame a comprehensive package for their welfare.

Responding to a calling attention motion by Janata Dal (Secular) Floor Leader M.C. Nanaiah on the plight of the endosulfan victims, Mr. Khader said the government recently issued an order constituting a general committee, headed by the district in-charge Minister, and an executive committee, headed by the deputy commissioner, for the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.

The committees will identify the victims, issue smartcards enable them to get free medical treatment, arrange vehicles for their transportation to hospitals, offer home-based palliative care to immobile victims, provide mobile medical unit, provide free ration and form a special package for the victims.

Responding to the reply, Mr. Nanaiah objected to the Minister’s reported move to stop a special scanning campaign for pregnant women in the affected areas by a few non-governmental organisations, service clubs and reputed doctors. The camp was aimed at detecting foetal abnormality caused by endosulfan and to offer further treatment. He lamented that the government, which should have conducted such camps, was instead preventing noble missions. Mr. Khader replied that it had come to his notice that organisers of the camp had not obtained permission either from the district administration or from the district health officer. Which was why it was ordered to be stopped on that particular day. “Someone should take responsibility. Otherwise, the government will be blamed if something goes wrong during such camps,” Mr. Khader said. He promised the government would conduct the tests through the the Indian Council of Medical Research. Opposition members, in one voice, demanded a permanent ban on endosulfan in the country and urged the government to make a fresh recommendation to the Centre on this. Mr. Nanaiah alleged that the Centre was being influenced by multinational companies producing the chemical