SB Numali, the boat donated by Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is ready for service.
The boat crew is waiting for high water to come, to move it to Sonitpur, where the boat will provide health services to the marginalized river island population of the district as part of C-NES’ Boat Clinic programme under NRHM.
The inaugural function of the boat launch was earlier held on 11th March 2011 at Majuli ghat, Jorhat. Senior officials from NRL and C-NES Managing Trustee, eminent writer journalist Sanjoy Hazarika were present at the launch.
NRL has donated Rs. 12 lakhs for the boat to support the innovative boat clinic initiative in Assam. The first installment of Rs. 4 lakhs was earlier handed over by the Managing Director NRL, Dr. B. K Das to Mr Sanjoy Hazarika in September 2010.
C-NES provides basic health care services, through specially designed boats equipped with laboratories as well as pharmacies on board, to these river islands and the special focus is on women and children, who are the most vulnerable in difficult conditions (Assam has India’s worst Maternal Mortality rate at 480, higher than Bihar or Uttar Pradesh, and a high Infant Mortality Rate).
There are now 15 boat clinic teams in 13 districts of Assam, a major upscaling from the single district when it began its innovative initiative in 2005 at Dibrugarh. This has been done through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with NRHM since 2008 and reached nearly 5 lakh persons so far. The districts covered are Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Morigaon, Kamrup,Nalbari, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Goalpara and Dhubri.