After farmers from Tamil Nadu, it’s the turn of fluorosis victims from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to file nominations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Twenty victims and activists from the fluorosis-hit States are going to file nominations on April 22.
Thirty-four-year-old Anshula Swami, Suvarna Ramavath (24) and Veeramalla Rajitha (25), are down with fluorosis, like thousands of others in Nalgonda district of Telangana.
After years of protests, they along with 18 others have decided to file nominations from Varanasi and Rae Bareli, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi are going to contest, respectively.
Fluorosis is a disease caused by excessive levels of fluoride in drinking water, which makes bones brittle. Found in several villages in Nalgonda district and Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, the disease is crippling hundreds of people.
“There’s no let up in the condition despite the change of governments. We demand a corporation for fluorosis victims, a pension of ?5,000 to ?15,000, depending on the seriousness of the condition,” Kanchukatla Subhash, who leads Fluorosis Vimukti Porata Samithi, told BusinessLine.
The victims demand a national research centre to find the solution. “It was sanctioned about 10 years ago. We showed them 8.5 acres for the centre, which is supposed to have a 50-bed hospital as well,” Subhash said.
Last month, over 100 farmers from Tamil Nadu announced that they would contest polls from Varanasi to highlight their problems. “Fluorosis is a huge problem in some villages. But surprisingly, no politician talks about it. It is not even an election agenda. We would like to bring it to the notice of the nation,” said Sudheer Jalagam, an IT professional, who returned to India from the US to work on the issues faced by Nalgonda.