India: Leven in een microgolfoven

vrijdag, 01 februari 2013 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

Bron: The Times of India, 25 jan. 2013

Straatkinderen in India die zeer ernstig ziek worden van de straling van de 40 naburige zendmasten.

KOLKATA: Around 200 children- many of them toddlers - are living in a virtual microwave oven atop Karnani Mansion on Park Street.

Hemmed in by 40 cellular antennas that together transmit nearly 500 watt of power round-the-clock, the kids suffer constant headache, nausea, sleeplessness and fall ill with alarming regularity, say families who live in the complex. The terrace of Karnani Mansion houses 80 staff quarters with an average of five residents per dwelling.

Radiation experts warn that if the antennas are not dismantled, the children will develop chronic health problems, even cancer.

Four-year-old Divya Sardar twists and turns all night and becomes violently ill frequently. ''She is just back from hospital after a bout of diarrhoea. She's been frail and sickly since birth. There's not been a single day's relief from headache,'' said her mother Rani.

It isn't just Divya who wakes up with a throbbing head. So do Joy Sardar (6), Ananya Sardar (8), Md Faiyaz Akhtar (9), Rahul Dubey (10) and all other children on the roof of the six-storied mansion. ''The headache is acute in the morning and late afternoon. I cannot concentrate in class and am always irritable,'' said Ananya, who has a strip of cloth tied on her forehead.

Faiyaz and Rahul have learnt to live with the ailment ever since it began four-five years ago. Playing cricket with a plastic ball on the roof, they try to get on with life.

''Every boy and girl here has headache. There is no respite even in school,'' said Faiyaz. Most of the kids study at Harrow Hall, located in Karnani Mansion.

Paediatrician Santanu Roy explains headache warned that prolonged exposure to radiation from cellular antennas is ''extremely harmful for children''. The problem gets complicated with continued exposure over time as infertility, miscarriage and cancer is reported in larger numbers.

Girish Kumar of IIT-Mumbai, who has been working on cellular radiation for over a decade, says the 40 antennas installed (24 GSM and 16 microwave antennas belonging to all cellular companies) generate around 480 watt power round-the-clock. ''That's as much as a microwave oven that uses 500 watt. With 70% of the human body and 90% of the brain comprising fluids, such exposure is damning for health of children and adults,'' said Kumar.

While the Department of Telecommunication prescribes a minimum buffer of 35 metres between a tower with two antennas and a residential or work zone (40 m when there are four antennas and 70 m when 10-12 antennas); the men women and children on Karnani Mansion's roof live and play within 10m of 40 antennas.

Rekha Rao, who moved to Karnani Mansion terrace after marriage five years ago, says she had never suffered from headache and swollen throat earlier. ''When I lived in Shibpur, Howrah, these ailments were not there. It happened only after moving here and I think these antennas have got something to do with it,'' she said.

Shanti Sardar, whose son Tapan died mysteriously a year ago, leaving behind his young wife Rani and daughter Divya, blames the antennas and the devices installed on the roof since 2006. .

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