Endosulfan causes to end many life;
But no ends to discussion of ending Endosulfan
India is the world’s largest user of Endosulfan, and a major producer with three companies. Excel Crop Care, H.I.L. and Coromandal Fertilizers producing 4,500 tonners annually for domestic use and another 4,000 tonnes for export.
Exposure to Endosulfan happens mostly from eating contaminated food, but may also occur from skin contact, breathing contaminated air, or drinking contaminated water. Endosulfan affects the function of the central nervous system. Endosulfan has been found in at least 164 of 1,577 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Endosulfan affects the central nervous system and prevents it from working properly. Hyperactivity, nausea, dizziness, headache, or convulsions have been observed in adults exposed to high doses. Severe poisoning may result in death. Studies of the effects of Endosulfan on animals suggest that long-term exposure to Endosulfan can also damage the kidneys, testes, and liver and may possibly affect the body’s ability to fight infection. However, it is not known if these effects also occur in humans. We do not know if Endosulfan can cause cancer in humans. Studies in animals have provided inconclusive results.
In 2001, in Kerala, India, Endosulfan spraying became suspect when linked to a series of abnormalities noted in local children. Initially Endosulfan was banned, yet under pressure from the pesticide industry this ban was largely revoked. The situation there has been called “next in magnitude only to the Bhopal gas tragedy.” In 2006, in Kerala, compensation of Rs 50,000 was paid to the next kin of each of 135 people who were identified as having died as a result of Endosulfan use. Chief Minister V.S Achuthanandan also gave an assurance to people affected by poisoning, “that the government would chalk out a plan to take care of treatment, food and other needs of the affected persons and that its promise of rehabilitation of victims would be honoured.”
Many Social activists and organizations have been active in providing rehabilitation for the victims of poisoning. They are demanding the banning of Endosulphan in India. India is strongly opposed to adding Endosulfan to the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
Endosulfan in Kasaragod:
Kasaragod is the northern most districts in Kerala (India). The district had cashew plantations extends to about 5600 acres, spreading through habitations, water bodies and hills in about 11 village panchayaths. The plantations have been in the air spraying with the substance pesticide Endosulfan since 1976, frequently till 2001. Following public objection and the involvement from some courts and governments, Endosulfan spraying was stopped from 2003. But the Health and Environmental hazards’ suffering by the people and nature due to the use of Endosulfan in Kasaragod District is a burning issue for the past few years and is still above. Hundreds of deaths and disorders reported. distressingly high levels of Endosulfan residues have been detected in the blood and breast milk of villagers in this area. In the affected areas, it is observed that birds and butterflies disappeared, fish and frogs in the ponds and streams found die. Wide spread ailments and severe health problems were reported. Since 1996, popular agitations in the affected areas erupted against the indifference towards the victims of Endosulfan. These protests drew the attention of media and research and environmental organizations within the country and abroad. As a result of this popular tumult against the disasters, about an assortment of enquiry commissions were appointed by both State and Central Government to study the subject. Endosulfan is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market today, responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world. Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogena synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogens and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans. Whether endosulfan can cause cancer is debated.
Govt of Kerala and Govt. of India had appointed 11 various commissions to inquire about the issue. Various Non Govt.Organisations also made some studies at their own level. Most of the studies revealed the hazards of Endosulfan use and its impact on the food, water and beverages. These enquiry reports somehow finds that pesticide Endosulfan is responsible for the horrendous mutations and ailments that many in the villages of Kasaragod district are suffering form.
A victim, Smt. Leela Kumari Amma approached a lower court (Munsif Court, Hosdurg) in 2001 and the court temporarily stayed aerial spraying of Endosulfan in Cashew plantations. In 2003, the High Court of Kerala upheld the order of lower court and it permanently stopped Endosulfan spraying. Thus, the Govt.of Kerala was forced to impose a ban on the use of Endosulfan in 2004.It was a welcome relief for the people of Kasaragod. Consequently, the Govt.of India banned the sale and use of Endosulfan in Kerala from 2005 onwards.
Relief and Remedial Intiatives:
The Kasaragod District Panchayath, the Govt.of Kerla, its different department and NGO’s had made some efforts to provide relief and remedial measures to Endosulfan affected community.
The Kasaragod District Panchayath organised medical check up camps at the affected villages and a super specialty referral medical cap at district level. The District Panchayath also supplied medicines to the needy persons freely for last two years. The Department of Health also organised medical camp as a follow-up of initiated by District Panchayath. It also issued Health cards to more than 4600 victims identified in the medical camps Also disability certificates were issued to needy persons The Kasaragod District Panchayath organised a Consultative Workshop in 2005 to chalk out a plan of remedy for this man made tragedy. The workshop brought out a vision document for launching a comprehensive relief and remedial system for the Endosulfan affected community.According to the proposals of this vision document, the Govt.of Kerala appointed Endosulfan Victims Relief and Remediation Cell at the auspicious of Kasaragod District Panchayath. The Govt.of Kerala had distributed Rs.89 lakhs to the dependents of 178 deceased persons of Endosulfan tragedy in the district and allotted another Rs.50 lakhs for the treatment of living victims.
“Endosulfan will END OF OUR LIFE SPAN, So Avoid Endosulfan and Save Nature.”