The Shantigiri Healthcare & Research Organisation (SHRO) has evolved a year-long scheme to provide free medical treatment to those suffering from diseases suspected to be caused by the aerial spraying of endosulfan in the cashew plantations of the Plantation Corporation of Kerala.

The health-care scheme —- ‘Karunyam' — offered by the Thiruvananthapuram-based ‘Shantigri Ashram' is being planned by synchronising allopathy, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Siddha branches of medicines and the treatment would be provided by involving the Apollo Clinic unit in Kannur.

Besides, the services of various voluntary organisations and cultural bodies engaged in rendering health-care services in the district would be sought, Ashram sources said here in a statement.

The expert treatment module include diagnosis, distribution of medicines, ensuring sustained medical treatment besides awareness campaign, all free of cost. Experts of the Shantigiri Health Care organisation and the Apollo Clinic would hold medical campaigns in the worst-affected pockets of the district, the sources said. Health cards would also be distributed to the affected persons.

Prior to the implementation of the scheme, a 30-member team consisting of spiritual leaders from the Ashram and expert medical practitioners would carry out a door-to-door visit in the worst-affected villages in the district. The Ashram authorities have already held talks with the Anti-Endosulfan Campaign Committee office-bearers here to get first hand inputs about the host of mysterious diseases, they said.

The team from the Ashram had recently visited the house of Abhilash, son of T. Balakrishna Bhat, a resident of Karadukka village, who is grappled with immobility right from childhood owing to the adverse effects of prolonged aerial spraying of endosulfan in the State-owned Plantation Corporation of Kerala's cashew estate.

The team that visited worst-affected areas included Shantigri Ashram organising secretary Gururatnam Jnanathapaswi; Arts & Culture Department in-charge Janananma Jnanathapaswi; and SHRO in-charge Sayujyanath Jnanathapaswi..

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