Skin allergy and pulmonary problems reported with Bt cotton (21/10/2007)

VATAVARAN PANCHAYAT (A unit of Kheti Virasat Mission)

Here is the English translation of the news item appeared in the Daily Punjabi newspaper 'Desh Sewak' on dated 16th October2007 with a title- 'Narme De Kashtkaran te mazdooran nu kharish ate shah di bimari'(Skin allergy and pulmonary problems to the cotton cultivators and farm labourers).

The English translation
Chandigarh, Tuesday, 16th October2007.
Lehra Mohabbat / 15 October/ Manjeet Dhaliwal

Now the farmers and the farm laborers are forced to struggling with a new problem. Many farmers and laborers are suffering with the problem of skin allergy and pulmonary diseases after the cotton plucking. It is to be noted that the green signal to BT cotton's cultivation in Punjab was given by the captain Government [the Government of Captain Amrinder Singh] after which it was sown at a large scale in the cotton belt. Spurious seeds and other reasons has failed the BT cotton on one hand, on the other hand the farmers and the farm labors entangled in the skin allergy and the bronchial/pulmonary disorders.

In this context many women of the villages around the Ballianwali near Lehramohabbat have complained about the bronchial/pulmonary disorders and the skin allergy after the cotton plucking. Naseeb Kaur and Kuldeep Kaur of village Mandikalan went to the cotton plucking but afterward they were suffering from the above diseases now visiting hospital. Similarly Tez Kaur of village - Khokhar was put to trouble after she went to the cotton plucking during the day in the farmer's fields and developed allergies. This lady with an earning of Rs 60/- per day is forced to consume costly medicines. The ancestral village of Captain Amrinder Singh who got cultivation of BT cotton started [in Punjab] is shaken by these diseases. Harvinder Kaur of village Mehraj is also suffering from the dermal allergy due to this. In the same way Veerpal Kaur and Mahionder Kaur of village Sandhu Kalan are also came under the clutches of this disease. Some reports about the suffering farmers, to our representative have been received from some villages about the skin allergy. If the investigation in the whole cotton belt is made then cases on a large scale shall come forth. People suffering from these diseases are availing medical services from different hospitals.

Dr Gurpiar Singh who is running a private clinic says that so many cases came to his notice during these days. People from villages are under his treatment. It has been seen that this type of allergy includes heavy burning sensation and itching complaints. Dr Gurpiar Singh told our representative that poisonous types of genes have been used in the BT cotton that's why the farmers and the laborers are affected most.

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