Endosulfan victims facing human rights violation: Daya Bai

Human rights activist Daya Bai receives Ivory Award

July 19, 2022 06:30 am | Updated 09:47 am IST - Thrissur

Kerala Sahitya Akademi President K. Sachitanandan presenting Ivory Award to human rights activist Daya Bai in Thrissur on Monday

Kerala Sahitya Akademi President K. Sachitanandan presenting Ivory Award to human rights activist Daya Bai in Thrissur on Monday | Photo Credit: NAJEEB KK

The Endosulfan victims of Kasaragod district have been facing the cruellest human rights violation in the State, human rights activist Daya Bai has said.

She was speaking after receiving the Ivory Award instituted by Ivory Books at Kerala Sahitya Akademi Hall here on Monday.

“In my 40 years of social service across the country, I have never seen such a helpless society. Twenty years of spraying of poison left thousands of people born with either deformities or mental or physical disorders or other severe health complications. Society and the government shun them mercilessly,” said Daya Bai. She has been working for their rights for a few years now.

A recent incident of mother committing suicide after killing her 20-year-old daughter, an endosulfan victim was not the first such case. Many such incidents had been reported in Kasaragod even before. A woman, who was diagnosed with cancer killed three of her children, she recalled.

“What else can they do? Lack of social support for these victims force the parents to take such extreme steps. The parents of the endosulfan victims cannot go to work leaving their children unattended,” she said.

Daya Bai demanded setting up at least one day care centre for the victims in each panchayat in Kasaragod.

“When the government thinks about the location of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Kasaragod never comes to the picture. Kasaragod deserves the AIIMS more than any other district in the State. Kasaragod doesn't have any decent health facilities. When Karnataka closed its border during COVID 18 helpless endosulfan victims died in Kasaragod. It also can provide 200 acres of land, which is needed for setting up the AIIMS,” she noted.

Three people, who have been fighting for human rights in various fields and for the marginalised people were selected for the Ivory Award.

Daya Bai, who has dedicated her life for the marginalised people, was selected for the Ivory Award carrying ₹50,000 and citation.

Fr. Benny Benedict, who initiated VIBGYOR documentary and short film festival, which brought out the voices of oppressed and marginalised people, was selected for Ivory -Sukumar Azhikode Award, carrying ₹25,000 and citation.

Ivory-M.N. Vijayan Award was presented to eminent film critic l. Shanmughadas. He tried to bridge the gap between the classic films and the common audience. Writer of many film -related books, he was winner of the prestigious Satyajit Ray Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to writing on cinema.

Kerala Sahitya Akademi president K. Sachithanandan inaugurated the function. Writer Vaisakhan presided over the function.

Writer Vaisakhan and human rights activist Daya Bai at the Ivory Award function at Kerala Sahitya Akademi in Thrissur on Monday.

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