The Composite Regional Centre for Persons with Disabilities won a new lease of life here on Saturday, when Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja laid the foundation stone for a new building for it.

The centre, which caters to the needs of disabled people across Malabar region, has been without a proper roof for the past several years.

It has been functioning from a temporary shed here.

A new chapter in its history was opened with the Health Department agreeing to hand over a vacant three-acre plot located near the Government Leprosy Hospital to the Social Justice department on a 99-year lease.

It was functioning inside a compound owned by the Social Justice Department at Vellimadukunnu here since December 8, 2011.

The statistics itself reveals the importance of the centre in the welfare of disabled persons in the region. Last month, 955 persons had approached the centre here to avail themselves of services like clinical psychology, parental counselling physiotherapy, occupation therapy, and communication training. Again, 1086 persons had come to the centre for rehabilitation treatment, early intervention, sensory coordination, and social skill training in March alone.

The functions of the centre include distribution of chairs of cerebral palsy-affected persons and hearing aids, documentation of early intervention, and training for autistic persons.

The District Administration has informed that the building cost will be Rs.13 crore.

The construction of the building would be under the supervision of the Chennai-based National Institute of Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities Centre. Work is expected to be completed in three years.

Once the centre starts functioning, it will be the second such one in south India.

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