GUWAHATI, May 19 � Kaliyani, the boat donated by the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is ready for service, a press release stated.
The inaugural function of the launch of Kaliyani for providing health services to the marginalised river island population of Kamrup district as part of the C-NES�s Boat Clinic programme under the NHM was held on Monday at Machkhowa Ghat, Guwahati. It needs mention that this is the second boat sponsored by the NRL for the C-NES. The first one, Boat Clinic SB Numali, operating in Sonitpur district, was launched in March, 2011.
�Among the most marginalised people in Assam, nearly 30 lakh or ten per cent of the State�s population live on its islands in the mighty Brahmaputra and for decades, they have struggled to survive at a basic level,� said C-NES managing trustee Sanjoy Hazarika. He added, �We thank the NRL for supporting us with yet another boat in this mission of taking sustained health care and other development services to this excluded population.�
Chief guest P Padmanabhan, Managing Director, NRL, lauded the work being done by the boat clinics and said, �The boat clinics are doing an amazing work for the poor and underprivileged to reach medicine, care and solace to the unheard and unseen people, living on the numerous islands created by the whim and fancy of our mighty Brahmaputra.� Pranjal Pratim Das, Programme Executive, NHM, Assam, who was also present on the occasion, said that �The Government was proud to showcase the work of the boat clinics at both the national and international level. In spite of various challenges, we move ahead in our common mission.�
The C-NES provides basic healthcare services to the vulnerable population who live on islands on the Brahmaputra, with a special focus on women and children through specially designed boats equipped with laboratories as well as pharmacies on board. It now has boat clinic teams in 13 districts of Assam with 15 units, a major upscaling from the single district when it began its innovative initiative in 2005 at Dibrugarh. This has been done through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the NRHM since 2008. The districts covered are Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Morigaon, Kamrup, Nalbari, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Goalpara and Dhubri.
On board are full-fledged medical teams (two doctors, three nurses as well as lab technicians and pharmacists) which conduct regular camps organised through a network of community health workers and organisers in the district.
The C-NES�s 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 to dramatically upscale the programme to reach the socially and geographically excluded groups, the release added.