"For monitoring and transparency, block development officers and sub-divisional magistrates have been directed to keep a watch on collection in their respective areas."
By Imran Khan

Patna, July 3 - Here's a unique initiative to ensure that the poorest of the poor get the best possible medicare without depending on the government. Some 400,000 households in a Bihar district have been urged to donate Rs.10 each to ensure that the poor get financial help in case of a medical emergency.

The initiative could yield at least Rs.20 lakh at a conservative estimate, an official said.

Launched by the administration of Kaimur district and the Red Cross, the response so far has been tremendous, with thousands contributing in the past few days.

It is a common problem for the poor that lack of money puts them on death bed. We have launched this initiative to help them in an emergency to save their lives, Kaimur district magistrate Arvind Kumar Singh, the man behind the Dus rupaiye ka daan, bachae ek jaan (A donation of 10 rupees can save a life), told IANS.

The district magistrate said the decision to create the fund was mooted following a series of cases in the district where poor people had died due to lack of medical attention.

Our target is to approach each household to contribute or donate Rs.10 to save the lives of the poor, he added. The district has 400,000 households.

We are providing 400,000 coupons of Rs. 10 to all 151 mukhiyas (village body heads), panchayat sewaks, panchayat rojgar sewaks, nagar panchayat chairman and executive officers in the district to request the people to contribute, district Red Cross secretary Rameshwar Prasad Singh told IANS.

Assuming that even 50 percent of the families contribute, this would raise at least Rs.20 lakh, but the potential was greater, another Red Cross official said.

Rameshwar Prasad Singh said the response of the people was greater than expected as thousands of households had contributed in last few days.

The fund created with the people's support for the poor is the beginning of a new era to help them in an emergency. The poor will no more have to depend only on government schemes or government hospitals for help, he added.

For monitoring and transparency, block development officers and sub-divisional magistrates have been directed to keep a watch on collection in their respective areas.

(Imran Khan can be contacted at [email protected])


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