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Tiruvannamalai to get integrated spinal rehabilitation centre by August

On the occasion of the World Disability Day on December 3, 2019, the State government allotted a space for the rehabilitation centre in the Old GH complex.

Published: 12th July 2021 12:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2021 11:55 AM   |  A+A-

Minister for Public Works Department EV Velu issuing clearance certificates to Preethi Srinivasan for setting up the Integrated Spinal Rehabilitation Centre in the Old Government Hospital complex in Tiruvannamalai district.

Minister for Public Works Department EV Velu issuing clearance certificates to Preethi Srinivasan for setting up the Integrated Spinal Rehabilitation Centre in the Old Government Hospital complex in T

Express News Service

TIRUVANNAMALAI: An Integrated Spinal Rehabilitation Centre is all set to be launched at the Old Government Hospital complex in Tiruvannamalai district next month.

The initiative, which is the brainchild of Preethi Srinivasan (41), aims to provide care and treatment to those who are paralysed for life due to Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Preethi lives with SCI caused by an accident 23 years ago and is a wheelchair user. Before the accident, she was a national-level swimmer and the youngest member of the State women's cricket team.

"I was inspired by my mother to be the change. I was also saddened by the news that two girls that I knew of ended their lives because they were paraplegic. It was the trigger that made me decide I should do something to help people like me," Preethi told The New Indian Express.

In 2013, she started a charitable organisation called 'Soulfree' providing education, medical, and employment support especially to women. She came up with the idea to start the rehab centre to meet a pronounced need. "There is no cure for spinal cord injuries and they can cause permanent paralysis. Yet there are only a few SCI rehabilitation centres in the country," said Preethi.

"The centre that we are working on will give us the infrastructure support to provide holistic treatment for our beneficiaries. Over 35 services, including hydrotherapy and bed sore care will be provided here," said Preethi, who received the Kalpana Chawla Award for Courage and Daring Enterprise from the state government in 2017.

On the occasion of the World Disability Day on December 3, 2019, the State government allotted a space for the rehabilitation centre in the Old GH complex. However, the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the project's progress.

Preethi submitted a petition to Chief Minister MK Stalin on July 8, and put forth a charter of requests, including recognition of SCI as a specific multiple disability, creation of a central registry to maintain records of SCI cases in the state, insurance coverage for SCI rehabilitation, access to education, and special support for women.

On Sunday, Minister for Public Works Department EV Velu visited Preethi at her residence and issued her clearance certificates such as the building certificate from the revenue department, stability certificate from the PWD, NOC from the fire and rescue services department, and sanitary certificate from the health department.

Various companies have contributed to the cause through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, said Preethi.

Caption: Minister for Public Works Department EV Velu issuing clearance certificates to Preethi Srinivasan for setting up the Integrated Spinal Rehabilitation Centre in the Old Government Hospital complex in Tiruvannamalai district.



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