Ahead of Nava Kerala Sadas, govt releases pension of endosulfan victims pending for 7 months

An endosulfan victim with his mother in Thathengalam. File photo: Manorama

Kasaragod: Ahead of the Nava Kerala Sadas starting on November 18, the state government released the welfare pension of 6,603 endosulfan-affected families pending for the past seven months.

"A big relief!" said Bindu Rajan, a single mother of 17-year-old Bithul, an endosulfan victim, of Periya.
She said she got the pension of Rs 2,200 given to her son and Rs 700 given to her as Bithul's caregiver under the Aswasakiranam scheme pending since April. The money was credited to the bank accounts on Tuesday, November 14.

On November 3, Onmanorama reported that the LDF government gave administrative sanction to release Rs 11 crore to clear the pension arrears. An official of Kerala Social Security Mission (KSSM), the government agency that disburses pensions and salaries of special educators, said the money would be credited to the accounts of the beneficiaries in 10 days.

Under the Kerala Social Security Mission's Sneha Santhwanam scheme, a monthly pension of Rs 2,200 is given to endosulfan survivors with intellectual disabilities, paralysis, and serious ailments; if they are getting a disabilities pension, they would be given Rs 1,700 per month; all the other endosulfan survivors identified by the government would get Rs 1,200 per month. The government gives another Rs 700 per month to the caregivers of persons with intellectual disabilities or paralysis. It needs a monthly budget of Rs 90 lakh to meet these commitments, said the official.

However, the government has not yet paid the salaries of 37 special educators and support staff of 10 Model Child Rehabilitation Centres, whose students are mostly endosulfan survivors. Their salaries -- Rs 21,175 for special educators and therapists and Rs 15,000 for ayahs (nannies) -- have been pending for the past five months. "Today, we got a message from KSSM that the salary will be credited in a day or two," said a special educator.

The salaries would be credited just in time ahead of the Nava Kerala Sadas -- LDF government's campaign blitzkrieg -- starting from Kasaragod's Manjeshwar constituency on Saturday, November 18. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his ministers would be touring all 140 assembly constituencies announcing what the government has done and accepting people's grievances.

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