Rise in Rage!
DSA- Democratic Students Association,
Central University of Kerala has issued the following statement:
Yesterday while Kerala came first place in terms of overall health performance in the Health Index launched by Niti Aayog, two Endosulfan affected minor kids hailing from marginalized communities died in Kasargod District, Kerala.
The status quo of health facilities available in Kasaragod which is the only district in Kerala that faced the brunt of Agricultural Insecticide, Endosulfan raises a question mark over Kerala’s health index Mark. Don’t the Health parameters of marginalized people belonging to socially and economically weaker communities find a place in the criteria?
5-year-old Dalit girl Ameya and 11-year-old Muhammad Ismail are the Endosulfan victims who passed away yesterday. Ismail was admitted to Yenappoya hospital, Karnataka and when the Kerala government stopped providing medical assistance in Yenappoya, the children were denied treatment. The Remedial Cell, which is supposed to address such issues, has not been functioning for a year and a half. It was Six months ago, Ameya was brought to Sree Chithra Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram for treatment with the help of a few humanitarians. The government didn’t provide medical assistance as she was not on the list of beneficiaries. During the strike by Endosulfan Janakeeya Peeditha Munnani in Thiruvananthapuram in 2016, the Chief Minister promised to conduct a medical camp every year. Since the camp has not been held for four years, how come Ameya will be on the list? So who is responsible for her death which is due to a lack of medical assistance?
The negligence of the state towards Kasargod district and Endosulfan victims forces DSA to say that these 2 deaths are institutional murders! The deaths of these Endosulfan victims and that of deaths of Adivasi newborn babies because of poor health conditions of pregnant tribal women and malnutrition won’t be discussed in the public conscience of Kerala with upper caste-class consciousness!
4.10 lakhs were granted for CPI(M) state minister Saji Cherian’s washroom and CPI(M) state minister Abdurahiman is going to America with public money for medical treatment. These two Ministers, the State health minister, Chief Minister and Prime Minister may not be knowing that it has been 4 years since a single health camp has not been conducted in Kasargod district for the Endosulfan victims. It’s also to be noted that affected people have not yet been compensated as ordered by the Supreme Court which asks the state government to grant 2-5 lakhs rupees each for victims. The political and class interests of this government are shown through this. Pinarayi Vijayan’s Government should give more importance to human lives and the environment instead of celebrating Neoliberal projects like the Silver Line K Rail project for which the government is going to borrow thousands of crores from foreign banks with imperial interests.
Now the murders caused by the state’s negligence will be diverted from media by the state with the arrival of Health minister and politicians to the affected areas but remember the Endosulfan Janakeeya Peeditha Munnani Activists were in front of the secretariat and tried to meet the Chief Minister when he came to Kasargod district on last day but was prevented. Even after 20 years of the People’s movement against the Insecticide and for the victims, Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani is protesting against the unscientific deactivation of Endosulfan and for the rights of victims.
This CPI(M) led State government is pushing these common people into the streets and forcing them to travel to Trivandrum Secretariat where they protest to ensure the survival of Endosulfan victims during the time of the Pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the condition of victims and the mental health condition of their caretakers. They were unable to visit hospitals, consult doctors and one can imagine the economic-mental social stress faced by them.
The goodwill of a few humanitarians which helps Endosulfan victims won’t solve the medical conditions and economical burden faced by these socially marginalised communities and it’s the government that should take care of the medical expenses of its citizens. Kasargod people have been protesting for a Medical College and for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) years ago. The construction of the Medical College was started in 2013 and is not yet completed.
Kasargod people usually depend upon Mangalore (Karnataka State) and other districts of Kerala for treatment. During the lockdown period, 24 patients died after Karnataka closed the border of Kasargod – Mangalore. When Sangh Parivar governed Karnataka Government should be blamed for this inhumane act, LDF Government should be also blamed for their negligence towards Kasargod People. The health care status quo of Kasargod should be immediately resolved since Kasaragod lags behind the remaining 13 districts in healthcare because of the non-availability of high-quality hospitals.
Central Government and State Government are equally responsible and should ensure the Right to Health which is a part and parcel of Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
We Demand the following things to be considered,
• Protest against the State murder of Endosulfan Victims, Ismail and Ameya!
• Ensure medical treatment for Endosulfan Victims!
• Ensure State of Art Medical Facilities for Kasargod District!
• Sanction AIIMS for Kasargod!
• Resolve grevianances put forward by Endosulfan Victims!
• Ensure yearly medical camp to find out the affected children.
• Ensure the appointment of neurologists and upgrade primary health centers.
• Provide compensation and other financial assistance without failing as directed by Supreme Court.
Rejaz M Sheeba Sydeek (MSW)
DSA- Democratic Students Association
Central University of Kerala
Contact : 9995774303