The Kerala Social Security Mission (KSSM) is launching a mass campaign to pool funds for the constitution of a Rs 100 crore payment gateway to be utilised for the implementation of social welfare projects across the State.

Social Welfare Minister M.K. Muneer said here on Wednesday that money collected through the payment gateway will be used to fund health security projects such as cochlear implantation, 'Thalolam’ and `Cancer Suraksha’ as well as financial and social security projects like 'Snehasparsham’, 'Ashwasikaranam’ and 'Hunger Free City’.

"The idea is to pool around Rs 100 crore annual fund for the implementation of these programmes every year. The Local Self Government Department has already issued a government order requesting local bodies to donate a percentage of unused plan funds for the purpose, before the end of the financial year. According to this every municipality, corporation and district panchayat will donate Rs 10 lakh, every block panchayat Rs 5 lakh and every grama panchayat Rs 1 lakh,’’ Mr Muneer said.

He said that the Department has also requested the State government to facilitate donation of one day’s salary of government servants towards the KSSM payment gateway, with permissible tax exemption.

Mr Muneer, who convened a meeting of distrct collectors, district panchayat presidents and secretaries, added that the Department is also planning to raise money by selling specially designed stamps. Around Rs 11 crore worth stamps have already been printed for the purpose. ``These stamps will be distributed through schools, students and other organisations. Already we have collected around Rs 11 lakhs through the sale of stamps in Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasargode, Wayanad, Malappura districts. This money will exclusively be used for treatment of children suffering from chronic diseases and belonging to financially backward families,’’ he said.

District level coordination committees chaired district panchayat president and convened by district collectors have been formed to monitor the collection of funds through the sale of stamps.

The minister said that the Rs 20 crore cochlear implantation programme for treating hearing impairment among children between one and three years will be launched by March. Around 50 cochlear implantation surgeries will be conducted before the fiscal end.

"Similarly KSSM is also sponsoring free treatment for all cancer patients below 18 years of age in public sector hospitals like Regional Cancer Centre. Once we raise enough funds the Mission will also provide financial assistance to children from financially backward families suffering from unknown diseases,’’ Mr Muneer said.

Malapuram district panchayat president Suhara Mambad handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to Mr Muneer at the meeting. LSGD principal secretary James Varghese, Kozhikode district collector P.B. Salim and KSSM executive director Dr K.P. Ashraf were also present.

Public can make their contributions to the following bank accounts: State Bank of India, Statue Branch, SB Account No. 30809533211 or District Treasury, Trivandrum, Special TSB Account 15146.