Mangaluru: Endosulfan victims are not happy with the state government’s decision to increase their monthly pension by 33 per cent. They say that the proposed increase in pension is less than what they have been demanding. Endosulfan victims with more than 60 per cent disability are getting Rs 3,000 as monthly pension and those with less than 60 per cent (but more than 25 per cent) disability are getting Rs 1,500.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shivanand S. Patil, who visited Mangaluru recently, said that the government had decided to increase the pension amount by 33 per cent. “We had been demanding that the government increase the pension amount to Rs 3,000 (from Rs 1,500) and to Rs 5,000 (from Rs 3,000). If the government gives a 33 per cent increase, it will be Rs 1,995 and Rs 3,990, respectively. The increase is only Rs 900 per month,” Endosulfan Virodhi Horata Samithi leader Shridhar Gowda, who is also a victim, told Deccan Chronicle.
He said, “Endosulfan victims are suffering from various health ailments. They need money for medicines. Is this money enough for their expenses, including food and medicines?” “It was the government agency (Karnataka State Cashew Development Corporation) which used endosulfan in many cashew plantations. This led to the tragedy in Dakshina Kannada district and some villages in Kerala bordering this part of Karnataka. Thus, it is the responsibility of the government to take care of the victims.
The Kerala government is not only providing monthly pension to endosulfan victims, but also to their parents,” Mr Gowda said. Mr Gowda said that the Health and Family Welfare Minister should visit the affected areas in Dakshina Kannada and take stock of the situation.