BHUBANESWAR: Odisha government has decided to provide homestead land and a pucca house along with individual household latrine to eligible cured leprosy persons with not less than 40 per cent disability within two months after completion of their treatment.
The land will be provided under Basundhara scheme and house under rural housing scheme. The Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water department will allocate pucca houses to the cured leprosy patients within 30 days of receipt of their application. Since the cured patient will need to submit a disability certificate in this regard, collectors have been directed to ensure that the certificate is issued to them at the time of his/her discharge.
The decision was taken at the fourth meeting of the technical committee for formulation and monitoring of rehabilitation programmes for cured leprosy persons here recently. Chairing the meeting, Secretary of Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department Bhaskar Jyoti Sarma urged the Health and Family Welfare department to deploy required numbers of doctors and para medicos on deputation basis to the leprosy colonies and include the reconstructive surgery under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) to enable them to get treated in private hospitals.
The Health department was also asked to deploy dressers in these colonies immediately after president of the association for people affected by leprosy Umesh Nayak appraised the committee that the posts of doctors and paramedical staff deployed in the leprosy colonies have been abolished. Besides, there are no dressers in these colonies.
Joint Director (Leprosy) and Honorary Secretary of Hind Kusht Nivaran Sangh (HKNS) Dr Basanta Pradhan said the provision of homestead land and pucca house to the cured leprosy persons will ensure that they can return to their villages.
Highlighting that their houses in the leprosy colony are in dilapidated condition, representative from Nehru Palli Leprosy Colony, Cuttack, requested to repair the houses expeditiously. They proposed that some inmates of leprosy colonies may be imparted training so that they can work as dressers for the rest inmates in the colonies in case there is a shortage of staff.
Sarma agreed to the suggestions and requested the Health department to make provision of funds for upkeep of the leprosy colonies. It was also decided to constitute a sub-committee at the district-level to monitor the activities.
Number of Leprosy colonies - 87
Colonies located at - Balasore, Sambalpur, Paralakhemundi and Cuttack
Number of Inmates - 8,032
Annual leprosy cases reported - 10,000
Patients discharged every year - 10,000