Farmers' rights grossly violated due to lack of awareness on pesticide spraying: NHRC -Jitendra

-Down to Earth

NHRC has sent notices to Centre and Maharashtra, demanding detailed report in four weeks

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports on how several farmers in Maharashtra’s  Yavatmal district had to be hospitalised during the last three months due to an infection caused by spraying of a pesticide on the cotton crops. Many have reportedly died and condition of several other farmers is serious.

The total number of deaths vary between nine and 18 in the last one month, according to different sources. Besides, there were 800 instances of poisoning, out of which 25 losing vision after spraying Profex Super Pesticides on Bt Cotton crops in the Yavatmal district.

Profex Super insecticide by Nagarjuna Agrichem contains Profenofos and Cypermethrin. Its toxicity profile is between moderate to severe. The State Agriculture Minister has said that the farmers have not been following the directions for safe use such as wearing gloves and protective clothing. The government has decided to distribute masks to them for free. The state government has also announced compensation of Rs 200,000for the families of the victims.

In its press release, the NHRC declared that it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra and the Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, calling for a detailed report regarding the matter within four weeks.

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Down to Earth, 10 October, 2017,

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