Mangaluru : Addressing the media persons during the press meet held at Mangalore Press Club, Convener of Endo Virodhi Horata Samiti, Sridhar Gowda said, “Endosulfan victims under the aegis of Endo Virodhi Horata Samiti will be carrying out a protest on April 27 against the alleged inaction of the State government in fulfilling their demands – delay in payment of stipend and free bus pass facility.”
“The State government has kept the payment of stipend of Rs. 1,800 of the Rs. 3,000 per month pending for last four months of as many as 2,602 of the 3, 295 victims eligible for monthly stipend. Of the amount, Rs. 1,200 was being paid by the Revenue Department while the remaining Rs. 1,800 was being paid by the Health Department. We don’t know why there has been a delay or what has happened to the payment by the government,” he added.
Gowda also said , “KSRTC is creating hassles over issuing free bus passes that enables the victim and a person accompanying him to have a free ride in the bus for treatment. KSRTC was not accepting smart cards issued by the government as a proof that they are Endosulfan victims. Instead, the victims are being asked to produce a medical certificate from the nearby Primary Health Centre. There were nearly 300 victims who are being denied of free bus passes due to the absence of smart cards, which the State government has stopped issuing since March 31. KSRTC was denying passes to parents of around 200 odd victims who are bedridden.”
Sridhar also said that the mobile treatment facility proposed for bed-ridden victims was yet to take off. “For too long, the State government has been in the stage of calling tenders from firms providing vehicles for this purpose. I am also an Endosulfan victim and along with the other victims, a protest will be carried out before the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Mangaluru. Victims will be writing letters to High Court judges pointing out the unfulfilled promises of the State government and the problems they are facing.”