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LMIPPE February 2002

The Issue

6

Thanal

If what is chronicled in the Silent Spring could shock the world awake off the suicidal path that pesticide use would lead humanity to, then here in these villages one can see the most horrid reality of Rachel Carson’s fears come true.

Today villages in Kasaragod District are complaining from peculiar and complex variety of diseases unprecedented in this part of the country. All these villages lie in the mid-lands and laterite hill area of Kasaragod District, the northernmost district of the Kerala State. None of these diseases were known to the people of the area about two decades ago. These diseases are uniform in nature in almost all these villages and there seems to be no section of the people who have been spared from being affected. The peculiar set of diseases has affected atleast 15 panchayaths in the District.

The aerial spraying of endosulfan – a highly toxic pesticide is being blamed as the cause for these

organochlorine diseases. The

spraying

is

done

by

the

Plantation

Corporation

of

Kerala

(PCK),

a

Government of Kerala undertaking, in the which lies in or borders these panchayaths.

cashew plantations The PCK has been

undertaking the aerial spraying ritually their 4600 ha of cashew plantations.

for

the

last

26

years

in

Incidence of increased number of children born with congenital anomalies, mental retardation, physical deformities, cerebral palsy and mental ailments like epilepsy are reported from many families

across panchayaths. and magazines were

Many reports in showing children

all the prominent dailies with congenital physical

deformities, stunted growth, mental palsy. Cases with hydrocephalus was

retardation and cerebral also reported. Psychiatric

problems are also on the increase succumbing to suicidal tendencies

and with

many young and old are apparently no reasons as

such. Doctors have recorded many cases the liver and blood. Informal survey’s have

of cancer, especially of also revealed increased

rate of

breast, throat

almost

double that

and intestinal of women.

cancer. Cancer among men is Men are also suffering from

infertility and undescended testis.

Miscarriages and

irregularities

are

being

reported

among

women.

More

hormonal and more

people are falling ill to rheumatic complaints. common. Parkinson’s Disease is also Endometriosis, a serious illness affecting the

Paralysis is very being reported. uterus has been

diagnosed and is causing serious concern. suffered for long periods without knowing the

Many people

have

real cause for

their

ailments and have died.

Many complain of Skin

disorders

like

Psoriasis,

Eczema,

Leucoderma and other forms of dermatitis. Very pathetic cases were also found where a chronically affected person was

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