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Daya Bai Vows to Resume Protest as Government Fails to Deliver on Endosulfan Promises

Social activist Daya Bai has issued a warning that she will resume her agitation in support of endosulfan poisoning victims in Kasaragod if the Kerala government fails to fulfill its commitments, which led to the previous suspension of her protest. This time, the protest will be staged either in Kasaragod or Kochi.

In an interview with Manorama, Bai revealed her plan to approach the Supreme Court with a petition seeking justice for the victims. The prolonged aerial spraying of the pesticide in cashew plantations owned by the Plantation Corporation of Kerala caused endosulfan poisoning among residents of 15 villages in Kasaragod district, resulting in severe mental and physical disorders.

“They gave us a slew of promises but none of them were implemented. I know only methods of protest such as hunger strike. It is painful that such neglect is shown towards the victims of the endosulfan tragedy in Kasaragod,” Bai expressed her frustration.

The previous protest led by Bai lasted for 18 days and was called off on October 19, 2022, based on the government’s promises. However, no action was taken on key commitments, such as organizing medical camps for victims. Despite receiving 29,000 applications for attending the camps, the government failed to follow up on the matter.

Bai had demanded the establishment of the proposed All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Kasaragod, as there is sufficient available land for acquisition. However, the government claimed that a decision had already been made and requested Bai to withdraw her demand, leading her to question the influence of the land mafia on decisions such as the AIIMS site selection.

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