Tea tribe community must come forward to take advantage of Govt schemes: Sonowal

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CM launches Free Drugs Scheme for 651 Tea Garden Hospitals

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Sept 24: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal formally launched the Free Drugs Scheme for 651 Tea Garden Hospitals of the state at a programme organised by National Health Mission (NHM), Assam and department of health and family welfare at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra here Tuesday.

Under the Free Drugs Scheme for Tea Garden Hospitals 142 essential drugs, 47 surgical items, 45 consumables/linens and 6 numbers of disinfectants would be provided free of cost to the 651 tea garden hospitals of the state.

An amount of INR 20 crore would be spent every year for the scheme reducing the burden of out of pocket expenditure of tea garden population and making quality drugs accessible to them are the main reasons behind the scheme. Launching the scheme, Sonowal said that most of the tea garden hospitals in the state could not provide medicines to the patients of the tea tribe community and for that purpose, the patients had to bear expenses in procuring medicines. Schemes like Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) service in 442 tea gardens with 80 MMU vehicles and wage compensation of Rs 12,000 to each pregnant woman of tea garden areas in four instalments had been some of the epoch-making initiatives of the state government towards ensuring better health for tea tribe community, he said.

Saying that the state government is pursuing the goal of holistic development of all sections of the society following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘sabka sath sabka vikash’ motto, Sonowal highlighted schemes of the state government like free rice to the tea tribes community, free scholarships and free coaching for the meritorious students of the community for preparing for civil service along with medical and engineering entrance exams.

Urging the people from tea tribe community to inspire their children to acquire knowledge through education and excel in all spheres of life, Sonowal stated that government could provide only infrastructure but the community members must come forward to take advantage of the infrastructural development to shape their lives.

“Tea tribe community has tremendous potential for growth and they must acquire skills and knowledge to establish themselves as able citizens and make Assam one of the top states in the country” the chief minister added.

He also spoke about the necessity to bring back the glory of Assam tea in the world market by maintaining tea quality. Speaking on the occasion, health and finance minister HimantaBiswaSarma said that it was wrong to blame the whole tea tribe community after the Teok Tea Estate incident and he emphasised on setting up more educational institutes like schools and colleges in the tea garden areas for spreading education and awareness. He also stressed on the need to employ more doctors in tea garden hospitals to adequately handle patient loads. Saying that the tea industry had been going through a lean phase in the last few years, Sarma asserted that state government would take all necessary measures to revive this industry which had been providing livelihoods to a large section of the population.

In the programme, several doctors working in tea garden hospitals were also felicitated with an amount of Rs 25,000 for their dedicated services along with awarding best ASHA workers. Best PPP hospital awards were also given to Bordubi Tea Estate Hospital in Tinsukia and Saloni Tea Estate Hospital in Nagaon. Awards were also distributed to best districts and best blocks for disbursing wage compensation to pregnant women.

Union minister of state for food processing, RameswarTeli also spoke at the programme which was attended by MP Topon Kumar Gogoi, Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, MLAs Sanjay Kishan, TerasGowala, Suren Phukan, Rajdweep Roy, principal secretary (health and family welfare) Samir Kumar Sinha, NHM Assam mission director JVN Subramanium along with other dignitaries.

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