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LMIPPE February 2002

The primary aim of a hypothesis is to start at an “educated guess” or a “tentative assumption” and this should be guided by the most probable/ possible / plausible option from a set of answers or in this case causative factors for a problem of this nature.

Hence on the onset, we ask the question – Why did the people conclude that endosulfan was the cause for their ailments ?

Most families in many of these villages once believed that the health disorders that they were suffering from was because the local god was angry with them for some unknown reason. For example, in Enmakaje Panchayath, the people believed that Jadathari ( the Lord Shiva ) was angry with them and people conducted special pooja’s and rituals like theyyam for appeasing him. People like Dr. Mohankumar believed that there must be

something that must slowly, as

in be

the water that they use, from the stream nearby

contaminated

by

radiation

or

heavy

metals.

But

time

passed

by

and

the

ailments

were

mounting

to

threatening proportions, the one possible chemical whose

evidence presence

were all pointing towards was there in abundance in

their midst atleast three times every year. o n l y c h e m i c a l , o r r a t h e r t h e o n l y p o l l u t a n Endosulfan was the externally introduced t into their lives for the last 26 years. So, why did the people

conclude that endosulfan was the causative factor ? – primarily because there was no other source of pollution or possible poisoning other than this chemical.

Added to this are other reasons –The people have been seeing this kind of strange diseases in their families only since the middle of nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties. There was no such incidence of congenital anomalies among children born before the nineteen eighties.

Many other villages in Kasaragod have also reported such health problems at various times in the last decade and the only common factor to which all these villages were exposed, invariably happened to be endosulfan and nothing else. Members of the same family but living in various villages find that the

diseased are

only in the

villages

plantations.

This again

shows

hereditary nature as alleged by the

which are close to the PCK that the problem is not of scientists of the KAU.

In this context, it would be interesting to point out a matter that occurred in 1998. During an earlier study of the Grasim factory in Mavoor ( which is in Kozhikode District) and its pollution which caused Cancer in a number of homes in Vazhakkad ( a village on the banks of the river Chaliyar across Mavoor) and surrounding villages, a Health Inspector working there observed in one of his talks with our researcher that “cancer incidence was not very high in Vazhakkad, and was only comparable to those in

Panathadi transferred

panchayath” where he used to work before

to

Vazhakkad.

This

anecdote

is

pointed

out

being here,

because Panathadi most affected area,

panchayath is and has been

in Kasaragod and one exposed to endosulfan

of the spray

and if one observation is to give due weightage to a though unofficial and passing Health Inspectors the semblance is , indeed worth pursuing. , Moreover, Panathadi has no such

hazardous / chemical industries, like in Mavoor.

In the preliminary survey itself it was found that the people were

complaining about the acute health

soon

after

the

spraying.

Irritation

problems which resulted to the skin, convulsions,

Thanal

Hypothesis

13

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