As part of its golden jubilee celebrations this year, Oil India Limited (OIL) has donated Rs. 10 lakhs to the Centre of North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) to support its innovative boat clinic initiative in Assam.
“The funds will be used to build a boat clinic in Jorhat district and we hope it will come into operation in a few months, to join other such clinics we are running in other districts to bring sustained health care for the first time in their lives to lakhs of island dwellers on the Brahmaputra, especially women and children,” said C-NES Managing Trustee Sanjoy Hazarika.
C-NES has been providing basic health care services, through specially developed boats equipped with laboratories on board as well as pharmacies, to these river islands in five districts of Assam – now upscaled since January 2009 to five more districts, making a total of 10 — through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Government of Assam since 2008. The goal is to take sustained health care to lakhs of persons on the islands, for the first time since independence, with a special focus on women and children, who are the most vulnerable in difficult conditions.
On board also are fully fledged medical teams (two doctors, three nurses as well as lab technicians and pharmacists) which conduct regular camps organized through a network of community health workers and organizers in the district.
C-NES’ unique health clinic story began with a single boat, a prototype called Akha in Dibrugarh district in 2005; since then it has spread to other districts with partnerships first with UNICEF and more recently with NRHM to upscale the programme to reach the socially and geographically excluded groups. The districts covered are Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Morigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari and Dhubri and more than one lakh persons were covered regularly in the first year of the PPP with NRHM in 2008. The goal is to reach 10 lakh persons, or one third of the flood-vulnerable population of the state by 2010.
Five of the ships have been financed by the financial columnist and social entrepreneur, Swaminathan S Aiyar, and named after members of his family.
OIL India operates in Assam and has a presence in 10 other States as well as eight countries. It has taken up different community welfare initiatives as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme, including a major grant to the B Barooah Cancer Centre in Guwahati.
“C-NES appreciates this gesture which will help bring the basics of health care to many more of the marginalized in Assam and improve the health scenario overall in the state,” said Mr. Hazarika.
Leading dailies of the region including the Assam Tribune, the Dainik Janambhoomi, the Agradoot and Edin have covered the news prominently.
For further details, contact:
C-NES “Illashree” House # 9
Byelane 2 Rajgarh Road, Guwahati 3
C-NES website: www.c-nes.org