Endosulfan victims want government to take over daycare centres

One month into the change in administration of the two daycare centres for endosulfan victims, a group of victims has questioned their functioning and urged the government to take over the centres.

Seon Ashram from Gandibagilu in the district had bagged the contract to run the daycare centres at Kokkada village in Belthangady taluk and at Koila village in Puttur taluk from June 1. Seva Bharati from Mangaluru, which operated the two centres from March 1, 2017 to May 31, 2019, was among the five bidders.

Apart from these two centres, the district administration has also directed Seon Ashram to run four more daycare centres proposed by it.

A group of endosulfan victims opposed the order and submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil S., asking him to continue with services of Seva Bharati. The victims, on June 1, held a snap protest at the daycare centre in Kokkada reiterating their demand. The District Health and Family Welfare Officer, M. Ramakrishna Rao, passed an order asking Seva Bharati to continue its service till July 1.

At a meeting chaired by MLA for Belthangady Harish Poonja at Kokkada on Saturday, Endo Virodhi Horata Samiti convenor Shridhar Gowda and other endosulfan victims questioned the work of Seon Ashram. Mr. Gowda accused the ashram personnel of forcing parents to bring their children to the centre, irrespective of their willingness, by threatening cancellation of monthly honorarium. He also pointed out that the food given to the victims was not of the same quantity as what was given by Seva Bharati.

Mr. Gowda said the ashram personnel were also not allowing entry of parents into the centre and were forcing them to produce their Aadhaar card. “We want the State government to take over administration of the daycare centres. If the government fails to resolve these issues, we will be forced to stage an agitation in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Mangaluru,” Mr. Gowda said.

Dr. Rao said Seon Ashram authorities have been asked to give an explanation on the allegations. “[The explanation] will be placed before the Deputy Commissioner, who will take a decision subsequently,” he said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 10:19:37 PM |

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