New Delhi: Demanding a reversal of
"pro-endosulfan" stand, six Left MPs from Kerala today shot
off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to
instruct India`s representatives at Stockholm Convention to
speak against the pesticide and press for its global ban.
The six MPs, who along with other Left lawmakers
protested inside Parliament House premises early today,
claimed that thousands of people, including children, were
suffering in Kerala`s Kasargod due to the "evil effects" of
"Kasargod, once known for its greenery, is now haunted
by diseases and tragedy...Now the hearts and hands of each
Keralite are extending towards these victims for
rehabilitation," the letter, signed by P Karunakaran, P
Rajeeve, P K Biju, T N Seema, M P Achutan and A Sampath, said.
There is a demand for banning the pesticide across the
country with Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan leading
the agitation by going on a day-long fast yesterday. The use
of endosulfan, which is already banned in Kerala, had led to
serious health hazards in Kasargod district.
The MPs noted that the UN has classified endoulfan as
"highly dangerous" insect killer and its aerial spraying
causes physical and mental abnormalities like mental
retardation, cancer, infertility, birth disorders and damages
to brain and nerves.
Alleging that the government has "unfortunately" taken a
"pro-endosulfan" stand at international fora, they said the
intervention of the Centre is "highly expected" for a total
global ban on endosulfan at the `Stockholm Convention on
Persistent Organic Pollutants` which is presently going on.
"We humbly submit that directions may be issued to the
representatives of Stockholm Convention to speak against
endosulfan and press for total global ban of the killer
insecticide," the letter said adding the present stand of
favouring endosulfan should be corrected.
By opposing the ban, the MPs alleged, the government was
"allowing" multinational companies to "plunder" the country.
Noting that 84 countries have so far banned the
pesticide, they said even the US, one of the biggest producers
of the pesticide, had banned it last year.
The MPs alleged that the Centre has not yet shown
willingness to provide any assistance to the state government
for payment of compensation to the victims in Kasargod and
their rehabilitation for which a package of Rs 442 crore has
"We expect that the rehabilitation package submitted
by the state government as well as Kasargod district panchayat
will be wholeheartedly supported by the Centre at
the earliest," they said.