A dress bank is the latest

A drug bank, a dress bank and now a family counselling centre. The Kudumbasree Community Development Society (CDS) of the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation is adding more services — free and for the needy — to its kitty.

The drug bank, started in August 2013 was a major leap for the CDS, since Kudumbasree was launching such a free service for the first time. The drug bank caters to all patients within the Corporation limits who cannot afford to buy medicines.

Requirements

Those who require the services must approach the Kudumbasree Mission Office of the Corporation with a letter from the local councillor, nomination from the local Kudumbasree Area Development Society (ADS), income certificate and the doctor’s prescription to enrol in the scheme, which ensures free medicines for almost all ailments for a long time. The income limit that makes one eligible for the service is Rs.12,000 a year.

The project is not funded by the Corporation, as the implementing authorities do not wish to restrict it to the BPL norms. Funds are being collected through ADS and the charity funds of banks, which hold Kudumbasree accounts. Help is solicited from the public in the form of cash or drugs. Pharma companies supply sample medicines.

In the beginning, only general medicines were stocked in the bank. Medicines for cardiac and kidney ailments were added later, followed by those for mental ailments and cancer. The CDS is now planning to conduct a survey in all wards of the Corporation on chronically ill patients. The bank will deliver drugs at their houses.

How it works

The success of the drug bank paved way for the dress bank that will provide clothing to the poor. The dress bank, a pet project of Kudumbasree Project Officer M.V. Ramsi Ismail, functions through donation of clothes from the public. Yards of clothes are wasted in the warehouses of textile shops and mills, unable to reach the market. Parcel companies destroy a lot of cloth every year when they are unclaimed. The project aims at bringing these clothes to those who need them. The beneficiaries are identified by the ADS and the clothes are delivered at their doorstep during festive occasions. People who live on the streets too come under the project.

The family counselling centre, the latest among the ‘firsts’ of the CDS, will be inaugurated next week, offering free counselling. The project would function with the support of the Kerala Social Welfare Advisory Board.

There are around 400 regular beneficiaries of the drug bank and 300 beneficiaries of the dress bank, launched only last week. The CDS plans to offer quality service by appointing a recognised pharmacist at the drug bank and experienced psychologists at the counselling centre.

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