Protest by Endosulfan victims in Kerala ends as government accepts demand

Those who were below 18 years of age in the 2017 Biological Plausible list of 1095 people will be included in the rehabilitation package.

Published: 03rd February 2019 09:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2019 09:03 PM   |  A+A-

Former CM Oommen Chandy interacting with activist Dayabai and mothers of endosulfan victims at a protest venue in front of the Secretariat on Friday | B P Deepu

By PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Five days after they embarked on an indefinite hunger strike here, mothers of endosulfan-affected children Sunday ended their agitation after the government agreed to include more victims in the list for compensation and rehabilitation.

Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani (EPJM), earlier in the day marched to Cliff House, the official residence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as their talks with the government failed on Saturday.

An embarrassed government was forced to hold fresh talks with the protesters following which the announcement was made by M V Jayarajan, private secretary to the chief minister.

ALSO READ | Not right for Endosuofan victims to exhibit their children: Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja

The two-hour long meeting chaired by Jayarajan and at the end of it, the chief minister joined and assured all help to the victims.

"Those who were below 18 years of age in the 2017 Biological Plausible list of 1095 people will be included in the rehabilitation package. Kasaragod District collector will coordinate the process," Jayarajan told the media.

Social Activist Daya Bai, who was on fast along with the mothers of the victims, said she was happy that the government decided to accept their demands.

"I thank everyone who pledged their support to this just cause. I heard many allegations against me. I am not angry or unhappy with anyone. I just want justice for these kids," Bai said.

Muneesa, a victim and an active participant in the protest, told PTI that the meeting with the chief minister was a success.

"It was an elaborate discussion. The chief minister responded to our issues in a favourable manner. The government accepted all our demands," she said.

READ: Kasargod endosulfan victims, families in dire straits, says activist Daya Bai

Congress leader V M Sudheeran also took part in the protest march pledging support to the victims.

As per the last year's government list, only 287 people were beneficiaries of the medical and financial aid.

The protesters alleged that the government was turning a blind eye to the fact that 1,905 people are affected by the pesticide.

The families, who have come from the northernmost district of Kasaragod to the state's southern tip to make their woes heard, began the hunger strike demanding speedy disbursal of compensation and implementation of the rehabilitation package.

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