Mangaluru, May 21, 2019: Seon Ashram at Gandibagilu in Belthangady will be appointed, the new organisation to run endosulfan daycare centres in Kokkada and Koila villages of Dakshina Kannada from June 1. The term of Seva Bharati, which handled the centres since March 2017, ends on May 31.
Seon Ashram, which looks after more than 300 destitute persons, including several who are mentally challenged, was the lowest among five bidders for the Kokkada, Koila and four other daycare centres proposed in the district. The tenders were floated in March.
Following relaxation of the model code of conduct after the third phase of polling to the Lok Sabha on April 23, the tenders were opened. “We found the tender of the ashram to be the lowest and hence, work order was issued [on May 14],” DK DC S. Sasikanth Senthil said.
In 2011, the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa set up the two daycare centres. He gave a corpus fund of Rs. 1.25 crore to the Srikshetra Dharmastala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) and asked it to run them.
With no guidelines in place, the SKDRDP operated the two centres and provided physiotherapy support, food and transport facility for 60 children (30 in each centre). Operations ran into rough weather in March 2016 when the SKDRDP sought more funds even as the district administration questioned some of the expenses incurred by it.
The district administration then came up with guidelines. On March 1, 2017, Seva Bharati, an NGO working for special children and the visually impaired, was asked to run the two centres.
District nodal officer for endosulfan victim relief S.B. Arun Kumar said the work order for Seon Ashram is for one year. Their work will be reviewed before deciding to extend their services.