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Letters from Mothers of Nenjamparambu to the Supreme Court- Summary

endosulfan, letters of mothers of nenjamparambu, endosulfan victims of kasargod
Courtesy :
One of the burning social issues of Kerala and broadly, of India is the problem caused by Endosulfan in Kasargod district. Prof. M.A. Rahman, on behalf of all mothers of the victims, wrote a letter to the Supreme Court for justice, which is discussed in this chapter.
The letter was submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of tens of thousands of victims who had to live in misery because of the poisonous fiend, ”Endosulfan”. The author begins the letter citing the tragedy of an Endosulfan afflicted family where the new born infant of Mamtha and Narayanan of Adhur, Kaithode is born without eyes and dies immediately. Her other children were also affected by Endosulfan in various ways. The twins that were born in her second delivery also die. These Endosulfan inflicted infants were never mentioned in the government list of people dead due to Endosulfan. The only proof that the family was stricken by Endosulfan was the pension of Rs 2000 per month given to their Endosulfan inflicted child.
The women in Nenjamparambu fear conception rather than abortion because they don’t want to give birth to limbless torsos in place of babies. Malformed children continued to be born even ten years after the ban on Endosulfan spraying in 2000. The Negligence on the part of the government led to an increase in the death rate. In 2002, the author and his people went to shoot a documentary, A Paradise for the Dying, in which a plantation labourer named Achuthan Maniyani revealed that when in 2000, Endosulfan was banned, the excess chemical was buried in Nenjamparambu. This residue of Endosulfan is the cause of these deaths.
Nenjamparambu lies at the heart of Minjipadavu mountain in Adhur. Here lies the Kerala Plantation Corporation’s Minjipadavu estate. The huge cement tank in which Endosulfan was prepared is situated in Nenjamparambu and is even the landing place for helicopters. Around this, the pure water veins of Nenjamparambu flow between the crevices of rocks and these founts of water trickle in streams to the villages in the valley. There are two man made underground tunnels in Nenjamparambu enclosed by stone steps and overlaid with leaves and foliage, embedded with the roots of huge trees. The water that accumulates in these tunnels quenches the thirst of the villagers especially during the scorching summer. The residue of the buried Endosulfan seeps into the stream which explains the deaths even after the ban.

Very long ago one of the streams of this hill was diverted to a village, by an organic farmer named Mammadcha. The village came to be called Kaithode because Mammadcha diverted the stream with the help of a spade. Mammadcha’s daughter Hajira lived on the banks of this stream. However the water which was to be a blessing became a curse as Endosulfan had seeped into it from the ground in which it was buried. Today Kaithod village teems with Endosulfan inflicted children.
Endosulfan, the killer pesticide has made Nenjemparambu a graveyard. It was not the ignorance of any agricultural scientists which gave rise to such a difficult situation. This plight is the result of the fatal, unscrupulous greed and terror- spewing activity of the government which misinterprets scientific knowledge and sold it out to the market. The Plantation Corporation, the Agricultural Scientists, the Central Agricultural Department and manufacturers of Endosulfan cannot evade from this responsibility. Directed by the Supreme Court, the Community Health Department of Calicut medical college conducted an epidemiology study for ICMR and discovered high levels of Endosulfan in the blood samples collected from Nenjemparambu.
Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment conducted a study to measure Endosulfan level in the water and soil of Nenjemparambu and found out that there were dangerous levels of Endosulfan particles even 10 years after its aerial spraying was stopped. The study also revealed that there was every possibility of it having contaminated the food chain. If this observation is placed alongside, the Endosulfan count found in the blood samples collected from Nenjambaramba, it will be revealed that the countless deformed half children who lead a death in life are a creation of Endosulfan.
The Central Agricultural Department which is showing an urgency to export Endosulfan is not even bothered about resisting this grotesque life destructive phenomenon; infact they are actually playing with the life of people in Kasargod. The Agricultural scientists are ignorant of the fact that the plantation corporation has spread over 11 panchayaths and are trying to deprive the victims even of the basic humanitarian consideration that they deserve. They countered the studies conducted by Sunitha Narayanan and Dr. Habibullah. The Calicut Medical College study had proved that Endosulfan was the cause for all severe health problems but this study was suppressed when CAD furnished report against them. The pesticide issue is also impacting the rights of civil society. Authorities are unwilling to take up construction of the central university campus in Periya until they are convinced that the 300 acres of land allotted by the government in Periya is uncontaminated by Endosulfan.

With the strong belief that the Supreme Court would ban Endosulfan, this letter is being written by the mothers on behalf of the infants of Nenjemparambu.

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