Annual meeting of pesticide poisoned persons held

Press Note | Yavatmal | 17th September 2022

Marathi translation of the booklet ‘Protect our children from Toxic pesticides’ developed by PAN AP and translated by PAN India is released in the annual meeting of Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisoned Persons (MAPPP) organised in Yavatmal today. 

The annual meeting of Maharashtra Association of Poisoned Persons (MAPPP) is organised today at the Deendayal Prabodhini Hall in Nilona, Yavatmal. The meeting was jointly organised by MAPPP, Shetkari Nyayhakk Andolan Samithi (SNAS) and Pesticide Action Network India. Farmers and farm workers including victims of pesticide poisoning attended the meeting.

 The workshop titled ‘Growth of Agroecology: Barriers to legal mitigation of health risks and climate change impacts in farming’ organised as part of the annual meeting discussed various issues and challenges in advancing non chemical farming practices based on agroecology in India. Rahul Bole, District Coordinator of the Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Jaivik Sheti Mission gave a detailed session on importance of agroecology, soil health, and growing healthy crops and food amidst climate crisis without using toxic pesticides.

Dr. Narasimha Reddy, a noted Public Policy Expert pointed that toxic pesticides are harming people making their life miserable, and therefore, the liability and accountability of harm caused by pesticides has to be fixed upon the pesticide companies.

PAN India released the Marathi translation of the booklet, Protect our children from Toxic pesticides’ originally developed by Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific and translated by PAN India. This booklet provides a detailed account on how pesticides harm children in our society. By releaeing the booklet, Dr.Christian Schliemann and Anina Delbert, who are experts on corporate accountability laws, commented that increased awareness on the adverse effects caused by pesticides is an important trigger that can help reduce use of toxic pesticides. They stressed the need of concerted efforts to make the multinational pesticide companies liable of the harms caused by their products.

At the end the participants developed and released the Nilona Declaration aiming towards a better future by working together at community level and together with District, State and Central governments to end pesticide poisoning of people and soil. It raised concerns about quality of cottonseeds, cotton farming and usage of pesticides to contain pests and fungus. With heavy rains and humid conditions caused by the climate crisis, higher usage of highly hazardous pesticides is impacting farmers and farm labour. Pesticide poisoning cases are indicating a deep and widespread threat of toxicity to water, soil, food and our own bodies due to pesticide spraying. It appeals to the democratic institutions of India, including government, judiciary and media, to respond to the humanitarian crisis arising out of pesticide poisoning in rural areas of Maharashtra. Families are losing their livelihoods, independence to pursue their livelihoods and are being pushed under debt and disease burdens. The declaration requested the government to announce a financial relief programme for pesticide-poisoned persons, and to take active initiatives on fixing product liability and accountability of toxicity on agrochemical/ pesticide companies.

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