Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders led by Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan will meet Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday to seek a better deal for endosulfan victims.
The Opposition wants the government to provide compensation, recommended by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), to all the victims of endosulfan. Till now, the compensation has been given to only about 1,600 bed-ridden and mentally challenged victims, whereas the pesticide has seriously affected more than 6,000 persons in Kasaragod district.
Leader of the CPI Legislature Party C. Divakaran told The Hindu on Sunday that the government was yet to fully implement the recommendations of the NHRC regarding rehabilitation and remediation of endosulfan victims. Proper employment schemes for the affected families were yet to be worked out. Assistance was being denied to kidney and cancer patients on the ground that the diseases were not caused by endosulfan. Mr. Divakaran said the LDF did not agree with the recommendation of the expert committee of the Supreme Court that the existing stocks of raw materials should be used to make endosulfan, and that the use of the pesticide should be permitted for two years. The committee itself had admitted that the pesticide caused serious health problems, the CPI leader said.
He said the LDF would convey to the Chief Minister its opposition to the proposal to disburse ration subsidy through banks. The scheme would force cardholders to run from ration shop to the bank and back. Ration cardholders would be so inconvenienced that it would ultimately undermine the public distribution system. If corruption was the problem, the government should use the existing anti-corruption machinery to prevent it.
Aadhaar cards opposed
He said the LDF would also object to the introduction of Aadhaar cards in schools for disbursement of scholarships and other benefits. The Central scheme was not suitable for a State such as Kerala which had achieved considerable progress in the field of education. The scheme was meant for States such as Bihar.