78pc of people who visited 'Duare Sarkar' camps have received benefits: Mamata

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Kolkata, Jan 27 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said around 78 per cent of the 2.5 crore people who visited 'Duare Sarkar' (government at doorsteps) camps have already received benefits of the programme.

With an eye on the assembly polls, due in April-May, the Trinamool Congress administration launched the Duare Sarkar drive last month to deliver benefits of 11 state-run welfare schemes to the people.

The camps have been set up across the state since December 1 and will continue till January 30.

Banerjee said that her government is providing free healthcare under the 'Swasthya Sathi' programme to its 10 crore population and assisting young men and women from all backgrounds in pursuing higher education through scholarships.

Under the 'Swasthya Sathi' scheme, each family is entitled to basic health cover for secondary and tertiary care up to Rs 5 lakh every year.

'The state government is going to the grassroots level in the districts for providing services to the people through the 'Duare Sarkar' camps,' Banerjee said while addressing top officials of international funding organisations, diplomats and senior journalists at a review meeting of the welfare programmes of the state government.

She drew parallel with the Centres Ayushman Bharat scheme saying that it is being run on 60:40 ratio, while Swasthya Sathi is totally funded by the West Bengal government.

'We have effectively tackled COVID-19 and cyclone Amphan, and at present there are only a few affected by the virus in the state,' she said.

The chief minister said that doctors in West Bengal are very qualified and efficient, and even patients from the neighbouring states come here for treatment.

Delays in implementing the 'Swasthya Sathi' scheme is due to reluctance of some private nursing homes, but things are now being streamlined so that people get seamless service, Banerjee said.

The CM had said that the state government had the right to cancel licences of private hospitals and nursing homes if they refused to treat patients under the 'Swasthya Sathi' health scheme.

Almost 10 crore people are covered under the 'Khadya Sathi' scheme of the state government, the chief minister said.

'Food and health are totally free in the state,' she said.

Maintaining that students have benefitted from scholarship schemes and other welfare programmes taken by her government, Banerjee said that the dropout rate is a little over 7 per cent at the secondary level and 9 per cent at the higher secondary level.

Claiming that misinformation is being spread about the development of West Bengal, she said that scholarships are being provided to students hailing from all backgrounds, including minorities, scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and the general category, in the state.

'Minorities, scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people are getting scholarships for helping boys and girls from these sections to become doctors, engineers and crack the civil services examination,' the chief minister said.

The West Bengal government has also decided to transfer Rs 10,000 to the account of each of 9.5 lakh Class 12 students studying in government, government-aided, and madrasa schools to procure tab or smartphone for online education.

Junaid Ahmad, country director for the World Bank in India, congratulated the West Bengal government for its 'Duare Sarkar' programme. PTI AMR MM MM