The thought to reach out widely to the challenged persons in the district was initiated by the Nashik district administration and under the schemes of the social welfare department mobilised other government and non-government partners to conduct the camp which identified, checked and will also distribute aids to such challenged persons across the district.
Speaking about the camp, district collector Dipendrasingh Kushwa said, “The thought extended from inclusive growth of all and so we mobilised all concerned departments to work in the direction of social good. The task was to identify the physically and mentally challenged all across the district, get them to one place to be screened medically and then help them with the necessary aids.”
Likewise taking help of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which provided the data of the handicapped children in the district, the children were identified. “The challenge was to identify those children who do not yet go to school. With the help of ZP and councils and corporations, this too was achieved. The adults were also identified and arrangements were made by the Zilla Parishad to bring them to Trimbakeshwar where the camp was held on April 24 and 25,” informed deputy collector and Kumbh mela officer Mahesh Patil.
The Shri Panchayati Akhada Bada Udasin Nirvan from Trimbakeshwar volunteered to host the people. Every challenged person was accompanied by one to two others who helped them. Likewise, the Akhada hosted about 20,000 to 25,000 people over two days providing them food, water and shelter.
Thirty medical teams of doctors including specialists like nine orthopaedic teams, three teams of psychiatrists, three teams of ENT, three ophthalmology teams, three multi disability teams, and four teams from the Indian Artificial Limb Implant Manufacturing Corporation screened the participants.
Pandit Dindayal Upadhaya Handicapped Welfare Foundation, Delhi, Indian Artificial Implants Manufacturing Corporation, Kanpur, Surajya Indian Foundation, Kanpur, Kalyan Karoli, Luknow, Shri Panchayati Akhada Bada Udasin Nirvan, Trimbakeshwar along with Zilla Parishad, Nashik, Nashik Municipal Corporation, Malegaon Municipal Corporation and other partners were led by the Nashik District Collectorate in conducting the camp in the premises of the Akhada in Trimbakeshwar.
Attending to such a huge crowd was an exercise in itself. Volunteers helped the participants fill up forms and reach the proper screening counters.
“All arrangements had to be made from identifying probable beneficiaries, vehicle arrangement, crowd management, facility reaching, hosting a large number of people, volunteering, medical teams management, scrutiny, etc. This was an exercise in itself that gave us a small glimpse of handling large crowd in a mega event like Kumbh mela in Trimbakeshwar,” Patil said.
The camp identified that 65 per cent of those screened needed tricycles, 10 per cent needed mentally-retarded aid kits, 20 per cent needed hearing aids, five per cent needed callipers, crutches or visual aids. A total of 7,501 including 3,588 children and 3,913 adults were screened and identified as deserving various aids. These aids worth crores of rupees will be provided by the government for free to the beneficiaries on May 24 at a programme at Trimbakeshwar.
Total number of challenged persons who attended the two-day camp:
Children – 3,588
Adults – 3,913
Total – 7,501