NORTH LAKHIMPUR, July 1 - Biyali, the only geriatric care centre in the State based in North Lakhimpur is on the verge of closure, thanks to the apathy shown by the State Health Department in renewing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) since the last one year.
Established in October, 2011, Biyali, an initiative by Tirtheswar Hazarika Memorial Trust here, has been instrumental in bringing smiles to thousands of elderly patients across the district by providing free medical care.
The centre has two state-of-the-art ambulances donated by two PSUs � NTPC and NEEPCO � which had been a great help in organising regular health camps in remote rural areas of the district for the elderly patients.
The MoU, signed by the trust with the State Health Department saw supply of free medicines and two doctors for regular health check-up of the target patients. The geriatric care centre also has a physiotherapy unit that provides relief to elderly persons suffering from various body pains, completely free of cost.
The MoU also provided the salary of the physiotherapist attached to the centre. But since last year, the State Government has not renewed the MoU with Biyali, thus leaving the geriatric centre deprived of the services of two doctors to hold free health camps, besides supply of medicine.
Despite repeated calls and requests, the State Health Department has reportedly showed no interest in renewing the MoU with the trust, which is a non-profit making organisation. As a result, Biyali could not organise the field health camps in Lakhimpur district for a long time and the salary of the physiotherapist has been paid by the trust itself.
If the disturbing situation prevails, a charitable organisation with a noble and honest initiative would face imminent closure, which would be a tragedy for geriatric care in Assam. The concerned citizens here therefore demanded speedy response from the newly-installed Government in the State to consider the matter with utmost priority, and renew the MoU with Biyali.
Recently, Biyali distributed toys and mosquito nets among deaf, dumb and orphan children. The goods were distributed among the children belonging to a special care school at Kachajuli near Laluk within Lakhimpur district. US-based pediatrician and cancer specialist Dr Deepali Bhuyan conducted a health camp on the occasion for these specially abled children and distributed various toys worth Rs 10,000, besides 20 mosquito nets.