We represent a close knit community of Malayalees living in different parts of the world. The majority of us are living away from our homes and homelands due to circumstances as varied as employment studies and other personal circumstances. Nevertheless, as expatriate Malayalees, we show the same, if not more, strong bond, patriotism and alligence towards our motherland as does anyone else. Among us who are sending you this letter are included a lucky few who have had the good fortune of staying back in Kerala.
Inspite of the fact that we as a group come together to communicate and discuss with effectiveness and independence through the medium of internet about topics that concern our land and are conducive to the progress and betterment of our society, we as a group do not subscribe to, or are members of any single institution, association or establishment. Based as it is on personal freedom, vantage and the tenacity to express them, our group does not even have a slogan or an ajenda, hidden or explicit.
We have learned that in the past month or so, the Department of Agriculture, under the aegis of your administration, has been distributing widely the chemichal compound by the name ‘Rodofoe'(refered to hence forth as ‘the chemical’) for the purpouse of controlling rhodents to the members of our farming community free of cost. May we say such measures that are taken with obvious good intentions are laudable to say the least.
Sri. Chandrashekaran Nair, a senoir and very active member of our community, who is a full time small scale farmer did take part in this distribution venture. As a prudent farmer and a concientious citizen who is as much interested with high productivity farming as he is concerened about the long and short term ecological impacts and benefits that such methods present, our dear friend asked a few fair questions to the government officials present on the occasion based on his vast and abundant personal experience. What struck Sri. Nair, who served our country for several years in the army and also was an expat himself at a previous time, was the fact that none of the officials present could answer his questions satisfactorily based on actual and proven fact. What was more strange was the fact that the very same officials ridiculed him and tried to portray Sri. Nair as a renegade and isolate him infront of his compatriots who might or might not have been fully aware of the effects of the chemical that was being distributed. Nevertheless, Sri. Nair took reciept of the chemical, albeit with a dubious mind, with the view of doing further research on the matter.
With a renewed sense of concern, Sri. Nair then approached other responsible officials under your government with a view of clarifying the matter. To this end, he contacted the Pallichal A.D.A Srim. Mini, Dr. P.K. Babu of the Department of Environment and the Principal Agricultural Officer Sri. Shivaprasad over the telephone.The first two mentioned, turned his enquiries down claiming that it was the responsibilities of their ranking officers. But as openly stated on Sri. Nairs personal website, the attitude of Sri Shivaprasad was most unprofessional and crass to say the least. In light of his bitter experience with the whole matter, Sri. Nair stated all these events on his personal website and asked for our help and support. Isolated as we are in several parts of this world from the family, relations and the land that we so cherish, such instances of scathing and truculent behaviour anywhere in Kerala is something that would appal us and make us take the matter to heart as we did. As a group whose voice is not often heard due to the lack of our proximity to active issues, we would like, at least in this instance, to declare our solidarity and compassion to an upstanding citizen and farmer like Sri. Nair.
Inasmuch as we are aware of the preciousness of your time brought about by weighty responsibilities, the reason we are submitting this letter is to obtain defenite answers about the following.
1. As Sri. Nair suspects, is Bromadiolone, a compound which is present in Rodofoe, a strong and harmful chemical?
2. Has un-prejudiced and independent tests/studies been carried out by chemical scientists and/or biochemists or has this been undertaken based on facts obtained from not so credible sources?
3. Even if tests/studies have been carried out by government bodies, research institutes or universities, from where can an ordinary citizen/farmer of the state be able to obtain the study reports?
4. On the other hand, if it has been or will/can be proven that the chemical is severly damaging to the ecosystem, in the interest of public health and community welfare, would your government be willing to immidiately cease the distribution of the same before it is too late?
5. If on the other hand, such tests/studies has not yet been carried out to determine the effects of the chemical, would your goverment show the initiative and goodwill to carry out such tests and furthermore, suspend the distribution of such chemicals till a credible result is obtained?
6. What measures have been taken to investigate and ensure that no vested interest or personal association has influenced the descision to distribute this chemical?
7. Is Rodofoe being distributed in keeping with the guidelines of the state and central laws governing and regarding the display of relevant health-caution and statutory warning on the packets?
8. As a consumer who is in reciept of such goods at no cost to self, is a person denied the right to know about the goods recieved?
As per the information gathered from various sources, Bromadiolone is a highly toxic and harmful chemical substance with long term effects. This is a second generation rhodenticide that has been tried and withdrawn from other countries due to the possible effects that could threaten the delicate balance of the ecosystem and also pose a threat to the future generations.
Nevertheless, as non-experts in the field of pest control and agricultural science and as responsible citizens, we are bound and willing to accept the proven and truthful facts with humility and reverence provided by the state government of Kerala. To this end, we request that you entrust the relevant officials the responsibility of answering our queries within a reasonalbe time by responding to each one of us or to Sri. Nair. It is our hope that we are not construed as a group who attempt to hinder the progress of our state and its governance. We are but a group who would wholeheartedly support any attempt on the part of the government that would contribute to the prosperity and health of our state.
In addition to the issues stated above,, what grips us as much as the ambiguity surrounding a strange and untangible chemical is the unprofessional and arrogant treatment that Sri. Nair was subjected to by your officials. We are of the strong belief that every citizen of the state of Kerala is entitiled and is responsible for the progress and glory of our country as much as yourself and the officials serving the public under your administration. These officials who should set an example for their fellow citizens are trampling upon the very right of any person to be known and recognised.
As to an active and popular Cheif Minister who is being viewed with much reverence, We would like to collectively and individually register our vociferous protest and angst at activities perpetrated by these officials that hinder and stymie the progress and welfare of nation. It is our hope that you would strongly warn such officials who culture and habit an unscrupulous disposition and loathing towards the general public.
We regret the fact that we had to resort to un-approve methods to bring your attention to this issue and that we took up your valuable time. But we hope that, in the light of the expansive seriousness and our helplessness, you would consider this as an official complaint and do the neccessary.