Thiruvananthapuram: The administrative sanction has been accorded by the Kerala Government to the 'Theerarogyam' Project, which aims to give financial help to the fishermen and allied employees suffering from serious ailments calling for a continuous treatment for five years.
The guidelines for the project, which will be applicable to the members of the Kerala Fishermen's Welfare Fund Board (KFWFB), have been prepared.
According to the draft guidelines submitted by the welfare board to the Fisheries Director, the stipulations applicable for the existing project in finding out beneficiary will be the same for the 'Theerarogyam' project.
Those who suffer from cancer, kidney, heart and gynic diseases, those who have disabled children, and those who are bedridden will get the benefit of the new project.
Those who apply for the new benefit should have membership in the welfare board for a minimum three years' tenure. The annual family income of those who apply should be below Rs 50,000.
The financial help will be provided for treatment in government hospitals or cooperative hospitals or the private hospitals selected by the government for the purpose.
Existing aid, norms
So far only one-time assistance for treatment has been given to the fishermen and allied employees and that too in two different scales. But in the upcoming 'Theerarogyam' project, both the parties are entitled for the same amount. It will be implemented along with the existing welfare project for the fisherfolk. The Fisheries Department will take care of the expenditure. About Rs 1.5 crore will be spent for the project this financial year.
Currently, fishermen are eligible for Rs 50,000 for cancer, brain tumour as well as heart and kidney ailments; Rs 2,000 if bedridden; and 5,000 for mental ill-health.
Allied employees are eligible for Rs 25,000 for cancer, heart and kidney ailments (not for brain tumour); Rs 10,000 if bedridden; 5,000 for mental ill-health and Rs 5,000 for gynic problems.
During the last financial year, Rs 47,66,161 has been spent for the existing scheme by the welfare board.