Work on rehab centre for differently abled begins tomorrow

In what seems to be a belated attempt to set matters right, the government on Thursday took the maiden step to provide a proper roof for the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centre meant for differently abled people in Malabar region.

The centre is currently functioning from a temporary shed here. On Thursday, the Health Department handed over a vacant three-acre plot located near the Government Leprosy Hospital to the Social Justice Department to set up the centre. The centre, supposed to cater to special children and persons with cerebral palsy, autism, and other physical and mental disorders, is housed in a shed inside a compound owned by the Social Justice Department at Vellimadukunnu here since December 8, 2011.

Last month, 955 persons had approached the rehabilitation centre to avail of services such as clinical psychology, parental counselling physiotherapy, occupation therapy, special education classes, and communication training. In March alone, 1,086 persons had come to the centre for rehabilitation, early intervention, sensory co-ordination and social skill training. The leprosy hospital compound at Chevayur is in a weed-ridden state, and much work is required to make the place hospitable.

The Social Justice Department has been given the land on a 99-year lease. The district administration said the building would cost around Rs.13 crore. For the first year, Rs.1.5 crore had been allotted. The construction of the building would be under the supervision of the Chennai-based National Institute of Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities Centre.

Minister to inaugurate

The building work is scheduled to be inaugurated by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja on April 13, an official statement said here. Work is expected to be completed in three years.

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