KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced a new scheme titled ‘Eye-Health for All’ for underprivileged people and said 8.25 lakh people will be given free spectacles in the first phase before the upcoming Assembly elections.
The project is aimed at free eye treatment for all across the state within 2025.
The eye-health scheme is one of the freebies that Mamata government has been offering since it came to power in 2011. Earlier, she announced to distribute 25 lakh bicycles among the students studying in Class IX to XII under the existing ‘Sabuj Sathi’ scheme. The CM has instructed to complete the distribution of the bicycles before the 2021 Assembly elections.
"The first phase will start from Tuesday in 1,200 gram panchayat areas and 120 primary health centres. Around 4 lakh students will undergo eye-test. Elderly people, youths and children will be given priority under the scheme," said Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat.
The Bengal CM’s new announcement is said to be another effort to woo the underprivileged electorates spread across the state. Facing relentless attack by BJP’s high-command on the issue of Ayushman Bharat, the Centre’s health insurance scheme which is barred in Bengal, and sensing an adverse electoral impact, the CM announced a health insurance for all living in Bengal, irrespective of their financial status.
"There are massive response to the health insurance scheme for all. The government is organising special camps in municipal wards and panchayat areas. More than one crore health insurance cards have been handed over to people in less than a month. The CM directed to include 10 crore people in this scheme. Once we cover all the people, the TMC will have a ready reply to counter the BJP’s attack on the health insurance issue," said a senior official.
Earlier, the state government distributed free shoes, raincoats ,and school bags for students across the state.