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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Asha Kirana, Prerna programmes launched in Kalaburagi

As many as 3.32 lakh free spectacles have been distributed to the visually impaired in eight districts of Karnataka under Asha Kirana, Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao has said.

He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating Asha Kirana, an initiative for door-to-door eye screening launched by the Health Department in collaboration with the National Programme for Control of Blindness, Health and Family Welfare, and also launching Prerna, a revolutionary drive to promote menstrual cups (M-cups) among women, at Poojya Doddappa Appa Engineering College in Kalaburagi on Thursday.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao with invitees after launching Prerna programme in Kalaburagi on Thursday. (Source: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT)

Under the Asha Kirana programme, screening has already been done for 21 lakh people in Kalaburagi district, of which 75,200 people have undergone surgery.

A sum of ₹61 crore has been allocated for Asha Kirana programme. “We have planned to expand the programme to eight districts in a phased manner and also, cover the entire district in the coming days,” Mr. Rao added.

The Health Minister lauded Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge for launching Prerna programme to distribute menstrual cups for women.

“Although it is a common biological process, we hesitate to talk about it. The girls who menstruate face restrictions when they are on their periods,” Mr. Rao said and appealed to people to openly discuss menstruation without any hesitation.

By identifying traffic hot spots related to accidents on the State highways, the Health Department has introduced ambulance services. As many as 65 ambulances will be stationed at accident-prone areas on highways to shift the injured to the nearest hospital immediately, he said.

Commissioner for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Priyanka Mary Francis said that the department launched Prerna to manage menstruation hygiene and promote environment sustainability.

M-cups not only offer a sustainable menstrual hygiene solution but also support social and cultural changes by educating people about hygiene practices. M-cups empower women and also help eradicate period taboos, she said.

The Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Corporation has allocated ₹1.57 crore and the KKRDB has allocated ₹2.10 crore for Prerna programme. The department has set a target to distribute 1.03 lakh M-cups in the district, she said.

The department has roped in 880 frontline ASHAs and woman doctors for creating awareness about the use of M-cups in rural areas, she added.

The Minister distributed spectacles to students under Asha Kirana programme and also menstrual cups to students, women police constables and ASHAs under Prerna programme.

Mr. Kharge, KKRDB chairman Ajay Singh, MLAs Allamprabhu Patil, Kaneez Fatima, MLC Thippannappa Kamaknoor, Deputy Commissioner Fauzia Tarannum and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Bhanwar Singh Meena were present.

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