MANGALURU: Hundreds of endosulfan victims are facing a hardship due to the irregular disbursal of monthly stipend amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Dakshina Kannada district. While victims with 60% and above deformities get a monthly stipend of Rs 3,000, those with 25% and above deformities, get Rs 1,500.
There are over 3,600 victims in Puttur, Belthangady, Sullia and other parts of the district who are entitled to various benefits from the government. Shridhar Gowda, a victim and president of Endosulfan Virodhi Horata Samiti of Kokkada, said that the monthly stipend is being disbursed irregularly. For many victims, it has been pending for months, he said.
“Officials say there are technical issues. It has been almost a year. Were they not able to fix the issues? With no stipend, no necessary facilities, how do these victims survive during this pandemic?” he asked. X
Technical issues affecting stipend disbursal: Expert
Dr Naveen Chandra, district Endosulfan nodal officer, said there are technical issues in the disbursal of stipend. “Some victims may have provided wrong information or there might be mistakes in their identity cards. However, we will look into the issue,” he said. Another demand is to open a government-run permanent care centre for bedridden victims.
“Our main demand to provide 10kg of free ration promised by the government is yet to be fulfilled since 2011. At present, Kokkada, Koila and Ujire have day-care centres. We are told eight more centres have been approved. But they are yet to function.
The young victims are not getting any benefits,” said RTI Activist Sanjeev Kabaka. Dr Chandra said, “In the absence of day-care centres, mobile medical units are providing medicines to the victims. Most of the medicines are given by the hospital itself. Only the medicine which is not available can be procured from outside, for which a particular Primary Health Centre ( PHC) will reimburse it.” “Opening daycare centres amid Covid-19 is risky. However, we are addressing the issue,” he said.