Dhubri, Dec. 3: Bedridden with arthritis for years, 60-year-old Purnanada Roy had lost all hope of standing on his feet and walking normally again.
“Not only my legs but my whole body ached. Then I was asked to consult the doctors at the Dhubri district disability rehabilitation centre. After a few weeks of therapy, I started feeling better. Three months later, I started walking slowly and now I am totally free of joint pains,” said Roy, a resident of Halakura in Dhubri district.
Like Roy, thousands of physically challenged people have benefited from the centre’s services since its inception on the premises of Dhubri civil hospital in 2008.
The centre’s sources said 15,693 disabled people, with orthopaedic, visual, hearing, mental and multiple disabilities, have been treated at the centre.
Over the past two years, along with helping and donating aid material to the physically challenged persons, the centre has been a torchbearer for those who hardly get anything from society. Many disabled persons are now leading normal lives, thanks to intensive physiotherapy sessions at the centre.
The centre was opened with financial support from the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment in collaboration with a local NGO — Bharat Vikash Parishad — as the implementing agency.
Nodal officer Partha P. Datta told The Telegraph that the centre had organised five camps in Mancachar, Hatsinghimari, Geramari, Berbhangi, and Dhubri rural areas and identified 1,819 disabled people, of whom 576 people came from BPL families.
“The Dhubri district administration had requested the ministry of social justice and empowerment (disability division) to supply assisting devices such as tricycles and hearing aids for the physically challenged last year, but till now the centre has not received anything,” Datta said.
Asked about funding by the central ministry, Datta said the centre had received Rs 12.14 lakh as first installment and after submitting the audited funds utilisation report, it received Rs 4.91 lakh as second installment.
The centre, having submitted the audited funds utilisation report of the second installment on July 30 this year, is waiting for the third installment of Rs 7.14 lakh.
Datta said the centre has generated funds of Rs 2.56 lakh from local contributions.
and efforts are being made to mobilise more funds from the district’s MLAs and MP.