First phase of Endosulfan Rehab Village ready for inauguration, govt looking at CSR funds to run it

  • Social Justice Minister R Bindu will inaugurate the first phase in the last week of February
  • The four-component rehab village is being built on 25 acres at a cost of Rs 45 crore in Kasaragod's Muliyar Grama Panchayat

Kasaragod: The first phase of the state government's ambitious Endosulfan Rehabilitation Village is ready for inauguration, said Minister for Higher Education and Social Justice R Bindu.

The first phase comprises a clinical psychology block and a consultation and hydrotherapy block. Hydrotherapy involves exercising in a swimming pool under the guidance of a physiotherapist. The two blocks will be inaugurated in the last week of February, she said.

The work on the first phase of the Endosulfan Rehabilitation Village started on May 25 2022 with a deadline to complete the work by May 23, 2023, according to a statement released by the Department of Social Justice back then.

A long-pending demand, the rehabilitation village was proposed by the Oommen Chandy government, and set aside Rs 5 crore for the project. Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd (ULCCL), which is building the centre, made a plan for Rs 54.75 crore in 2014-15.  

After five years, the then health minister K K Shailaja laid the foundation stone for the project via an online event on April 4, 2020.

The LDF government gave an administrative sanction of Rs 48.92 crore for the project, and after technical evaluation of the project sanctioned Rs 44.50 crore. 

The first phase - the clinical psychology block and hydrotherapy block - was completed at Rs 4.17 crore. The District Social Justice Officer is the implementing officer.

The village is coming up on 25 acres - split into two plots by a road - at Bovikanam in Muliyar grama panchayat. On one side, there are 11 acres and on the other side, there are 14 acres.

Four components of the village
The village has four components, said Bindu. The first component is a foster care home to provide special care to children with disabilities under the age of 18 years. The foster care home will have four wards with five bedrooms, disability-friendly toilets, and a garden.

The second component is assisted living for adults, which can accommodate 10 to 12 persons with disabilities above the age of 18 years. There will be 10 units, equipped with a kitchen, recreation room, library, vocational facility, garden, physiotherapy centre, and a 'job coach centre'.

The third component is 'halfway homes for assisted living for adults' where they can live till they are ready to live by themselves. Halfway homes will help avoid sudden relocation or poor living conditions. 

The fourth component is a high-dependency care centre for immobile patients.

An endosulfan victim with his mother in Thathengalam. File photo: Manorama

Funding the village
The government is not looking at funding the day-to-day operations from its budget. Minister Bindu said local self-government schemes and corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds of various organisations will be used for the day-to-day operation of the rehabilitation village.

She said the department is considering entrusting the management and maintenance of the endosulfan rehabilitation village to "an experienced NGO". The staff and staff structure required to run the village will be decided as soon as possible, she said. 

The Endosulfan Rehabilitation Village is envisaged by the Department of Social Justice as a model scheme for Kerala, the minister said.

Foundling home in the second phase
The second phase of the village will have a foundling home to ensure institutional protection and foster care of abandoned children, said Bindu.

It will also have a clinic for orphaned and abandoned children. It will also include early intervention centres to help early detection of disabilities and take necessary corrective and preventive measures, said Bindu.

The second phase will also include 'Community Disability Management Centres' run by a multi-professional group to provide various services to them under one roof, pre-vocational and vocational training centres for persons with disabilities from areas affected by endosulfan, bridge courses, and remedial teaching centres to provide a comprehensive educational foundation for those who missed out on education, parenting training.

Representational image
Representational graphic: Manorama
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