Hindalco making a difference in Sambalpur

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BHUBANESWAR: Sixty year-old Ram Khadia was soaking up the winter sun on the verandah when group of member from Hindalco Hirakud met him at his home in Hirakud village in Odisha’s Sambalpur district.

He appeared healthier and his recurrent diabetic and cough, which he was suffering from when the team first met him in August last year, was nowhere there.

Bigini Khadia said in last August she was in constant pain – she had a racking cough and high fever and was diagnosed insomniac too. Adding to her misery is her blindness, which was making her life more miserable. To make matters worse, medical help is scant in her village and she was too weak to travel, she said.

Her village happens to be close to Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco plant and she was spotted, looking frail and distraught, by a member of medical team during a visit to her Hirakud village. Doctors attended her, conducted some tests, diagnosed her illness and prescribed her medicines.

Due to the initiatives and supports from VIMSAR Eye Dept, she has undergone a special eye transplantation surgery. She is now able to see this world and feeling more happy by getting a new life.

Within a month, she was fit. Timely intervention from the medical team brought Bigini back from a point of no return. “Hadn’t it been for team of doctors God knows what would have happened to me. The credit for my recovery and getting vision and seeing this beautiful world, goes to CSR and medical team,” she said.

Like Bigini,  around 33,000 others from six villages in Hirakud are benefitting from Hindalco’s healthcare programmes. The backbone of these programmes is the medical team of seven – five doctors and two pharmacists – who visit these villages twice a week.

Consultation and medicines are provided free-of-cost, as are the tests. Where patients need critical care, the company arranges to have them shifted to the nearby Burla Government Hospital. Besides this, CSR team carries out a series of medical camps at regular intervals for communities around their plants.

These include family planning, cataract, pulse polio, and a multitude of immunization programmes, blood donation, dental check-ups, and for the differently abled. The company also holds awareness camps for dengue, HIV and leprosy.

These camps are conducted periodically in the adjacent seven villages. They reach out to 33,000 people.

Speaking on these services extended to the underprivileged in the interiors, Rajesh Gupta, the Cluster Head of Hindalco, says, “The CSR initiatives, run by a dedicated unit, focus on the areas of health, education, women empowerment and livelihood promotion.  We plan to expand our reach to cover more peripheral villages to ensure easy accessibility to health care facilities”.

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