GUWAHATI, Oct 7 - A Fluorosis Mitigation Support Centre (FMSC) office has been set up under the partnership of the Anand, Gujarat-headquartered India Natural Resource Economics and Management (INREM) Foundation and the State Public Health Engineering Department�s (PHED) Water and Sanitation Support Organisation (WSSO) on the WSSO premises here.
INREM Foundation is a fluoride knowledge and action network of the country and the FMSC concept has been developed by Assam�s former PHE chief engineer AB Paul.
The PHED had a discussion recently with representatives of INREM, led by Paul, who is now the INREM regional director (NE). During the discussion, it was decided that INREM and WSSO will join hands for fluorosis mitigation in Assam.
Representatives from UNICEF; ICCO Change Collaborative; Central Groundwater Board; Centre for Sustainable Development Goal in Assam; Arghyam and Gammon Engineers and Contractors Pvt Ltd and State Referral Laboratory attended the discussion.
PHED chief engineer Soumya Baruah, Dr R Dubey of the Centre for Sustainable Development Goal, and S Patnayak of UNICEF addressed the gathering.
The event witnessed discussions on ways and means for mobilising support for a drive to mitigate the fluorosis menace in four districts of Assam � Nagaon, Hojai, Kamrup and Karbi Anglong.
The partnership aims at replicating the INREM-supported success model of converging action and bringing positive change in the lives of fluoride-affected communities through the FMSC.
Paul spoke about the spread of the FMSC concept to other states like Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana and how the international community has appreciated this innovative approach of Assam towards fluorosis mitigation.
The partnership between INREM and WSSO in fluoride mitigation is operational in four districts � Nagaon, Hojai, Kamrup and Karbi Anglong. The partnership aims at replicating the success of INREM�s previous fluorosis mitigation work undertaken through FMSC in the State, which was conceptualised by Paul with his co-worker Dharani Saikia.
The initiative brought together institutional convergence, ensured supply of safe drinking water, supplied medicines and grew nutritious food items to cope with fluorosis. This could bring about changes in the lives of the affected people, and the severely disabled children began walking normally. All this took place in Tapatjuri area of Hojai district about two years back.