Puttur: Pratheek cannot express his feelings, for he cannot talk, neither can he see the colours around him nor can he walk around. Since last 20 years, this 20-year-old young man has been confined to his bed, thanks to the endosulfan. Out of several thousand lives that endosulfan wrecked, Pratheek is one of them.
Life of an endosulfan victim is not easy and it become all the more difficult where is not even a bit of help from the government.
Recently an elderly couple ended life with their two adult sons who were endosulfan effected persons. This incident brought to light the pathetic situation in which the endosufan victims are living. Life of Pratheek is also same.
It was about 25-year-ago Jayashree, a resident of Sanoor in Karkala was given in marriage to a man in Puttur Urlandige. After five year, Jayashree gave birth to a baby boy, but all her happiness shattered like a castle of cards when she realised that endosulfan had taken her child into its ugly clutches.
Twenty years have passed and Pratheek still looks like an under grown baby. But, Jayashree claims that as a growing baby, Pratheek made attempts to talk and he had vision too. It was only over medication that claimed his eyesight as well as speech. While Pratheek’s father toils in Mumbai to ensure that the family has enough for survival, Pratheek is completely dependent on his mother and sister.
Jayashree says that she had never receive any help from the government despite Pratheek being a glaring example of what endosulfan has done to the region. Free medicine and other medical care facilities that are available to endo victims have not reached Pratheek so far.
On an average Pratheek’s family spends over Rs 2000 per month for his medications and since his health goes for a toss every now and then, the family has to be always ready for unexpected expenses as well.
The High Court has clearly stated that health personnel should visit the houses of the endo victims and conduct check-up. But, this is not happening and Pratheek is a testimony for how the government and the health department have failed this section of people who are victims of a man-made tragedy.
In the mid 70s, the deadly pesticide called endosulfan was aerially sprayed over cashew plantations thrice a year in Kerala. This spray wrecked havoc after it contaminated water bodies leaving behind a trail of tragedy mainly pertaining to birth deformities.