In a case of suspected pesticide poisoning, probably the first in this Kharip season in east Maharashtra, two farmers were admitted to a hospital with symptoms of vomitting and loose motions in Yavatmal district.
Prashant Kewade (42) and Sandeep Meshram (24) were admitted in the Yavatmal-based Government Medical College (GMC) on July 1, a GMC official said today.
While Kewade, a resident of Fulai village in the district, was discharged on July 7, Meshram, who hails from Pengare village, still remains in the hospital.
“Both of them were admitted in the hospital on July 1 with symptoms of severe loose motions and vomitting,” Head of Medicine Department, GMC, Dr Baba Elke said.
He said Kewade had sprayed a pesticide named ‘Hitweed’ for 12 hours on his crop with his hand pump before he developed the symptoms.
“Meshram had also sprayed the poisonous ‘Hitweed’ for two days in row using his hand pump. He also developed severe loose motions and vomiting,” Dr Elke said, adding that the condition of Meshram is stable.
When contacted, GMC Dean Dr Manish Shrigiriwar confirmed the admission of the two farmers.
“I had reported the matter to District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh,” he said, adding that it was the job of Agriculture department to ensure that farmers take necessary safeguards before spraying pesticides.
Last year, incidents of deaths of farmers due to pesticide poisoning in Yavatmal district had come to light, prompting chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to order an enquiry.
Although the government had not specified the number of deaths, farm activist Kishor Tiwari and the Shiv Sena had said that 18 farmers had died due to pesticide exposure.