Minister for Health and Social Welfare P. K. Sreemathy announced here on Tuesday that the Social Security Mission would offer free surgeries and dialysis for children and monthly pensions to a family member caring for bed-ridden patients.

The Minister also announced that the Mission would also fund monthly assistance of Rs.250 to unwed mothers from next month.

Ms. Sreemathy told the media that children below 18 years of old, who are admitted to the general ward of Sree Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences and Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Malabar Cancer Centre and the government medical colleges in the State, would be eligible for assistance. Though treatment in medical colleges is free, currently patients paid for the cost of items needed in surgery.

She said that the Mission already provided assistance to the children afflicted with cancer. Rs.2.05 crore had already been spent for treatment of 850 children with cancer.

The Minister said that the ‘Ashwasa Kiranam’ scheme of the Mission would be of help to persons who have to stay at home for caring bed-ridden patients and hence could not go out for work . Those caring for about 30000 bed-ridden patients in the State, including victims of endosulfan, would get the benefit of the scheme.

The scheme for unwed mothers would benefit about 450 women. Most of them belong to the Scheduled Tribes.

Special Secretary Usha Titus said that decontamination of polluted areas in would be included in the scheme for endosulfan affected areas of Kasaragod district.