An average of about 200,000 people die from the toxic exposure of pesticides per year across the world, the United Nations says, calling for tougher global regulation of substances meant to control pests or weeds for plant cultivation.
The UN report - published on January 24 and which is being presented to the UN human rights council - said although pesticide use has been correlated with a rise in food production, it has had "catastrophic impacts" on human health and the environment.
"Equally, increased food production has not succeeded in eliminating hunger worldwide. Reliance on hazardous pesticides is a short-term solution that undermines the rights to adequate food and health for present and future generations," the report said.
It lists an array of serious illnesses and health issues with suspected links to pesticides, including cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, hormone disruption, birth defects, sterility, and neurological effects.
"In some countries, pesticide poisoning even exceeds fatalities from infectious diseases," it said
The report blamed "systematic denial, fuelled by the pesticide and agro-industry" for "the magnitude of the damage inflicted by these chemicals".
After many farmers died while spraying pesticide in various parts of Maharashtra, the state government has made a policy to help such victim families by extending an aid of Rs 4 lakh.
According to the state revenue department, they had approved the policy and issued the notification on July 19. "Earlier there was no policy to aid farmers who had died while spraying the pesticides. The government earlier had a policy to extend monetary help to the victim families who had died in the terrorist attack. This was subsequently amended and an addition was made to help victim families of Naxal attacks. Now, the new amendment is to help the farmers who died while spraying pesticides. This same aid will be extended to the victim's families who had lost their lives in the religious gathering and social function stampede. Besides, it will be given to the people who lost the lives in building collapse incident. However, the residents of these dilapidated buildings should not have been given the eviction notice by the authority," stated the notification. DNA has the copy of the notifications.
A senior government official said that they face the huge problem while extending the aid to the victims families. "Most of the cases get quagmire into the administrative approvals. And, the victims families end up getting nothing. Therefore, on government level, it was decided to have the policy so that the deceased's families can get financial help on time," he said requesting anonymity.
As per the policy, if the person has died in the accident, then the victim family will get the aid of Rs 4 lakh. "If he/she had met with the accident and lost eye, leg, hand or any organ making them permanently disabled, then as per the percentage of injury, the financial help will be extended between Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh. Smaller injuries will get financial aid to recover," he further added.