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LMIPPE February 2002

National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage - Natural Heritage (INTACH) , National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM), Earth Society, Kasaragod Paristhithi Samrakshana Samithi (KPSS), and Thanal - named PCK as the worst polluter of the State and declared the area

as a silent Bhopal 15th Anniversary

caused by PCK while remembering the

of

the

Bhopal

disaster.

They

also

released “The chemical free century free future” on this occasion.

-

Declaring

a

toxic

In January 2000,

meeting

in

the

the

Govt.

School Resource Group (SRG) High School in Vaninagar in

Enmakaje

Panchayath

observed

that

students

coming

from

the

backside

of

the

school

was

generally

found

to

be

mentally

and

physically backward

and

their

learning

capabilities were also poor. was happening. LP section

The SRG wondered why this of the school has about 152

students, 40 of those who come from the back side is suffering from some sort of congenital anomaly, mental retardation, physical deformity. Many other are frequently taken ill. Later it was realized that the cashew

plantation was in the backside of the school.

In October, 2000 the Munsif Court of Hosdurg ordered permanent prohibition of use of any insecticide by air. The court also restrained PCK from using other methods which may cause harm to people’s properties. This order was on a case filed in Periya Plantation area only and was not operational to other areas. The PCK, inspite of massive and widespread protests from other areas, especially Muliyar and Perla plantation area, resorted to aerial spraying of endosulfan, after arresting hundreds of people who were asking for their wells and other waterbodies to be covered, as per the Insecticides Act and the directions of the District Collector.

In Enmakaje Panchayath, the community decided to continue the struggle and they formed the Endosulfan Spray Protest Action Committee (ESPAC) led by the local doctors, farmers, teachers and a journalist. It was soon after this that Sports and Arts groups, cultural groups and panchayaths from other parts of Kasaragod also came together and formed a larger network to protest against the endosulfan use and aerial spraying and to find an alternate solution to this issue. All these groups recognised that information about toxicity of endosulfan and the problems it created was lacking. Information from various national and international sources were collected and their worst fears were confirmed. The people realised that they were exposed to a chemical which has been classified as an “extremely hazardous”

pesticide affecting the Central Nervous Reproductive system, Immune System, Liver,

system, Kidneys

and Skin. Insecticides

The Government Act could do nothing

machinery and the to protect them from

being

poisoned.

The

Scientists

Agricultural

University

(KAU),

who

at

came

the on

Kerala a fact-

finding mission, were still asking for evidence contamination and were terming this pesticide as

of a

“safe” pesticide, pointing

surveys

by

Thanal,

Dr

out to its use Mohankumar

in IPM. Separate and Link-Trada,

an

organisation

based

in

Mangalore

revealed

that

there

is

matching

of

the

diseases

in

the

panchayaths

and

the

Thanal

The people realised that they were exposed to a chemical which has been classified as an “extremely hazardous” pesticide affecting the Central Nervous system, Reproductive system, Immune System, Liver, Kidneys and Skin.

The Government machinery and the Insecticides Act could do nothing to protect them from being poisoned.

9

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