Is the state government spinning a web of lies in order to impress on the High Court that it is earnestly helping endosulfan victims lead a life of dignity? Information obtained under Right to Information (RTI) Act by RTI activist Sanjeeva Kabaka reveals that the government has misled the High Court and later the Karnataka State Human Rights Corporation (KSHRC) with a string of lies on the rehabilitation of victims of endosulfan poisoning in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.
Kabaka told Express that the government had recently submitted a report to KSHRC on its programmes being implemented exclusively for the welfare of endosulfan victims in three coastal districts. KSHRC had sought a report from the government after Kokkada endosulfan victims horata sangha convenor Sreedhar Gowda K filed a complaint accusing the government of not responding to their demands.
The report submitted to KSHRC was also shared with Sreedhara Gowda and other activists ‘“After reading the report, we decided to expose the lies of the government,’’ said Kabaka.In the report, the Health and Family Welfare Department stated that following an approval from the government an ‘independent agency’ had been set up to identify Endosulfan victims and arrange vehicles to ferry them to the hospital among others. The department also claimed that an exclusive package worth `5,000 lakh had been accepted by government. “The biggest false statement is that the government had been disbursing free of cost 10 kg of food grains to each endosulfan victim,’’ said Kabaka.
Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts, in their RTI replies,had declared that besides Anna Bhagya and Antyodaya there were no free ration food disbursal schemes exclusively for victims.
An exclusisve agency to implement welfare programmes for endosulfan victims Rs 5,000 lakh package for endosulfan victims approved by govt Free ration, home based palliative care, mobile medical unit Three more day care centres and two permanent rehabilitation centres to be a reality within a year (July 2017)
CASE IN POINT
19-year-old Revathi, an endosulfan victim, breathed her last weeks ago. She did not receive any free foodgrains let alone compensation, says her father Gopanna Gowda. Shivaprasad, an endosulfan victim from Soorikumeru in Bantwal taluk, is yet to receive monthly stipend. The delay in releasing stipend had forced Karnataka State Human Rights Organisation to request the DK Deputy Commissioner to expedite the release of stipend.