From a Correspondent
JORHAT, July 6: “Barter system still exist in the tea garden community, they exchange tea with other food items at the garden weekly markets because they make tea as ration on weekly basis and by the week end in their respective markets, they exchange it for other items like clothes, , grocery items, utensils and toys,” said Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, MP, Jorhat during his chief guest address at the flag-off ceremony of tiol Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) at the Cinmora Tea Estate central hospital premises on Thursday.
Tasa said that it was a red letter day for the tea garden community of Jorhat as with a unique and bold initiative by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, tiol Health Mission, State Health Society (Assam) and Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), tea workers would be provided medical treatment at their doorstep. They will avail latest health technical support followed by report and testing on the spot on all week days by efficient and experienced medical teams which comprise doctors, nurses, technicians, and pharmacists. The Jorhat MP thanked Union Health Minister JP dda, Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal and State Health Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma for this.
He added, “I request the tea garden magement and magers to follow the Plantation Labour Act and to check the sanitation and draige system in their gardens so that there is no system for water logging and to check that the tea workers do not go out to an open space and instead use their toilets. Most people from the tea garden community suffer from dreaded diseases, which increases the infant mortality rate, especially in tea gardens of Upper Assam. This is for three main reasons- lack of pure drinking water, sanitation and draige facilities.”
He further said, “MMU will bring a sea change in the health sector and it will also bring a change in the mindset of the people of the tea garden community. We will be very happy when we see low enrolment rate for Atal Amit Yoja which will automatically tell us that disease rate in the tea belts is going down which will be a good sign.”
Virendra Mittal, the chairman of District Health Society-cum-Deputy Commissioner of Jorhat, said that Upper Assam had a record number of tea gardens where the health scerio was poor but with the initiative of the Government of India, this was expected to change as one MMU would cater to four tea gardens and a change in the health sector could be expected within the next six months. Dr. Amit Saikia, the Joint Director, Health and Family Welfare, Jorhat, highlighted the conditions and rules for the movement of MMUs. Others present were prominent medical experts like Dr. Bolin Kharghoria, Dr. Bipul Deouri, staff and employees from NHM, HLFPPT, tea executives and employees from Cinmora Tea Estate.