Health dept to run Kokkada day care centre

Health dept to run Kokkada day care centre

The district Health and Family Welfare Department has decided to run the day care centre for endosulfan victims at Kokkada in Belthangady taluk.

The officials of the department took possession of the building from Seon Ashram Trust on Friday evening.

Sources said that the staff of Seon Ashram handed over the keys of Kokkada Gram Panchayat’s building, being run as the day care centre, to a Belthangady Taluk Panchayat officer and a contract employee from the District Endosulfan Cell.

The parents and guardians of endosulfan victims had been demanding since June this year that the charge of the day care centre be withdrawn from Seon Ashram.

They had met then Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil three times and submitted a memorandum demanding that the centre be run by the Social Welfare Department or the Mangaluru-based Seva Bharathi. The parents had also threatened to undertake a fast-unto-death if the contract awarded to Seon Ashram was not withdrawn by the district administration.

In October, Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja got the government to issue a circular on handing over the day care centre to the Social Welfare Department.

Sources in the district Health and Family Welfare Department, however, told DH that the Department was given charge as the Social Welfare Department had declined to run the centre.

Tender process

District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Ramakrishna Rao confirmed that the Health Department would run the centre and three separate tenders had been floated a couple of days ago. “We have barred non-government organisations from participating in the tender process. Successful agencies will be awarded the contracts to run the transport, housekeeping and cooking services at the centre,” he added.

“It is similar to running the government hospitals and outsourcing peripheral services,” he said and added that separate tenders were awarded to ensure transparency.

“The day care centre for endosulfan victims at Koila will be run by Seon Ashram and the Kokkada day care centre will be re-opened within 10 days,” Dr Rao declared.

‘Disrespect to concern’

RTI activist Sanjeeva Kabaka accused the authorities of disrespecting the concerns of parents of endosulfan victims and wielding their authority with arrogance. “The endosulfan victims and their parents have fallen from the frying pan into the fire,” he said.

Kokkada Endosulfan Horata Samithi convenor Sreedhar Gowda K said, after consulting experts on the developments, they will take the next step.