Permanent Ban On ENDOSULPHAN

Dear friends,

Perhaps you are aware that more than 9000 victims of Endosulfan have been identified in Kasargod district of Kerala alone, out of which over 4800 patients are bedridden.. Over thousand victims ofEndosulfanhave already died in Kasargod District. Similar effects are also being witnessed today in Idukki, Palakkad & Kannur in Kerala and Dakshin Kannada, Kodagu and Udupi and Bhatkal in Karnataka. Already, 74 countries all over the world have banned Endosulfan.A recent ban in Australia cited the health impacts in India as one of the reasons for the ban. In this context, we, the Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns, a forum of different activist groups in Bangalore, strongly condemn the stand of Government India for not calling for a permanent ban of Endosulfan.

Endosulfancan cause severe health impacts including deformities in limbs, loss of motor nervous control, brain damage, delayed puberty and cancer. It persists in the environment for a long time, circulates globally and passes on from the mother to the child, causing intergenerational health effects. Though the Kerala Government has announced a meagre package for the victims of Endosulfan, the Karnataka Government which has also banned the dreaded pesticide is yet to initiate a proper interim relief for the victims of Endosulfan in the state.

The representatives of the Government of India who initially argued against the ban of Endosulfan at the recent UN Conference in Geneva, however with a strong international and activist pressure from India, they have agreed for the global ban with certain exceptions for 22 agricultural products including Paddy, Maize, Coffee, Tea, cashew, mango and many others, till they find proper alternative. This means that the users of these products like us will continue to consume the deadly chemical Endosulfan. Already, four victims of Endosulfan have recently died, just weeks after the Geneva conference. Just imagine, how many more will die before a permanent ban as well as proper relief, rehabilitation and compensation becomes a reality!

The Government of India claims that there are no proper alternatives for Endosulfan. But the farmers in this country were efficiently involved in agriculture before chemical pesticides came into being. Today, the reality is that more and more farmers using chemical pesticides are turning to organic farming, since the chemicals are destroying the soil. The use of Endosulfan has only helped to destroy the fertility of the soil and destroy all friendly insects which benefited the agriculture. Its long term use will only convert pests into super pests which can not be killed by any pesticide. Therefore, agricultural scientists all over the world have recommended its ban.

There are more than 150 health studies published in the internationally reputed medical journals. All these papers prove scientifically that Endosulfancauses serious health issues. The survivors of Kasargod have already been victimized by 16 major studies. All of them have citedEndosulfanas a problem. We hereby strongly condemn the decision of the Government of India to harass the victims of Endosulfan with one more study by ICMR, in order to find out whether Endosulfan is really dangerous or not. The number of years the study will take will only delay the justice for thousands of victims.

We therefore demand:

1. A permanent and immediate ban on Endosulfan all over the country.

2. Proper relief, rehabilitation and compensation to the survivors of Endosulfan.

3. Severe action including criminal prosecution of the corporates, central and state government authorities who were responsible for causing & continuing to cause irreversible health disaster on the victims & their families ,

We extend our strong solidarity with the people’s movement against Endosulfan in Kasargod which sustained a struggle for 14 years, in spite of facing diverse problems. A photo exhibition on the issue of Endosulfan by well known photographer Madhuraj is being exhibited in different parts of Bangalore. Those who can organize this may kindly get in touch with us. A convention on Endosulfan is being planned on June 5, 2011, on the Environment Day, with the participation of the representatives of the movement in Kasargod and Peoples’ activist Medha Patkar. A protest on this issue will take place on June 5that Town Hall in the evening. We request you to inform all like minded friends and extend all support to make this campaign a success.

Peoples’ Solidarity Concern

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