Karnataka State Legal Services Authority handles grievances of victims endo-Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag


Karnataka State Legal Services Authority provides grievance handling for endo victims – Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag

Udupi: After receiving several complaints from Endo-victims regarding discrepancies in the payment of monthly pension, medical treatment and other relief, the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) decided to remedy to all the grievances of the people concerned by offering everyone the advantages.

Recently, KSLSA convened a virtual meeting in this regard chaired by Justice KNPhanindra, former High Court Justice of Karnataka (currently heading the committee to implement the “Legal Services for the Mentally Ill and Mentally Disabled, 2015”) to find solutions to the problems encountered by Endo-victims. The Committee gathered detailed information from the District Court Secretaries of South Kanara, Udupi and Uttara Kannada as well as the Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF), Udupi.

Feeding unfortunate victims is a problem

More than 8600 people in 450 villages in three coastal districts of Udupi, DK and Karwar are affected due to aerial Endosulfan spraying by Karnataka Cashew Development Board continuously since 1980 for 20 years. While many children are born with physical abnormalities and various central nervous system disorders due to endosulfan toxicities on the fetus, elders suffer life-threatening diseases like cancer, epilepsy, asthma, endocrine disruption, etc Currently, these children are around 30 to 40 years old. years and most of them have lost their parents. There are no medical facilities to care for these Endo-victims in their huts or in their villages. To rehabilitate these Endo-victims, the government of Karnataka had issued an order dated August 31, 2013, which has yet to be implemented.

No pension for victims of fatal illnesses

According to the judgment of the Honorable High Court of Karnataka, endo-victims with a disability of 25 to 60% should receive a monthly pension of Rs 1500/- and children with more than 60% disability Rs 3000/- per month. Although many suffer from cancer, epilepsy, schizophrenia and depression, they have been denied pensions simply because their disability is less than 25%. They have no source of income because they cannot work. Many struggle for 2 square meals despite being identified as endo-victims and suffering from deadly diseases. The Committee considered that these victims should be recommended for a monthly pension.

Mobile clinics should be replaced by physiotherapy centers

Four mobile clinics are operating in the DK district to provide physiotherapy to endo-victims. According to the information provided, each mobile clinic treats 6-8 patients per day. On average, about 800 victims receive therapy once a month. How and when will the approximately 3,000 remaining victims benefit from physiotherapy? The cost of each vehicle would be 12 lakhs. In addition, a total amount of Rs 50 lakh is spent annually on staff salaries and other expenses of the four vehicles. Instead of these mobile units, the HRPF asked the committee to recommend the installation of physiotherapy equipment in one of the primary health centers for 5 to 6 villages.

The relief distribution gap

The Committee observed the disparity in the provision of benefits such as ration, medicine and other facilities to the victims. Since the criteria for including victims in various categories are decided separately by department of revenue and health officials in each district, the discrepancy has slipped. 1500/- per month. Victims with 60% and above receive Rs 3000 per month. But victims from Udupi district with 60% disability certificate receive Rs 1500/- per month because Udupi district officials decided that the victim must have a minimum of 61% disability to get a pension of Rs 3000/-.

After finding such anomalies, Judge KNPanindra instructed HRPF, Udupi to prepare a flawless plan of action to provide benefits to endo-victims which could be applicable to the three districts.

Endo victims will get an increased pension

These endo-victims received the pension which was determined in 2014. Now the government has agreed to increase the pension at the request of the endo-victims. Endo-victims who have received a monthly pension of Rs 1500 so far will receive Rs 2000/- and those who have a pension of Rs 3000 per month will receive Rs 4000. This increase would come into effect from this month.

Endo-victims from all 3 districts with a minimum of 60% disability are eligible to receive Rs 4000 as monthly pension.

The Commissioner of the Pensions Department gave this information during the virtual meeting held on June 7, 2021.

Details are invited from aggrieved end-victims

Details are being requested from endogenous victims who have been denied benefits so far, along with the disability assessment certificate issued by government doctors. Details should be sent to the following address as soon as possible.

Dr. Ravindranath Shanbhag,

President

Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights

1st Floor, Vaikunta Baliga Faculty of Law

Kunjibettu, Udupi 576 102

Mobile: 89710 33582

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