Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS) uses a three-pronged approach emphasising on prevention, curative services and spreading awareness about health and hygiene.
Curative healthcare services provided by Tata Steel include specialised services like eye care, treatment on malaria and tuberculosis, surgeries to correct cleft lip and palate deformities in children, awareness on adolescent reproductive health issues, and on safe drinking water and sanitation. The Company’s hospitals, dispensaries, urban and mobile medical vans provide healthcare facilities to its communities in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Cleft Lip Treatment
The cleft lip palate is a deformity which has been long neglected due to the existing social stigma in the community. According to the birth rate indicator for cleft lip / palate deformity it is 1 in every 700 live births. To identify this deformity Tata Steel has conducted many screening camps at various locations and the following treatment has brought a smile in the face of children born with such facial deformities. This is a continuous initiative since 2002. The Company works in association with the leading international cleft care NGO ‘Operation Smile’, and Hi-tech Hospital, Bhubaneswar.
Eye Care Services
Cataract is an age-related condition and blindness due to cataract presents an enormous problem in India not only in terms of human affliction but also in terms loss of income due to disablement. The annual incidence of cataract blindness is about 3.8 million. Recognising the tremendous problem of adult blindness Tata Steel has been successfully conducting eye surgeries in collaboration with Jamshedpur Eye Hospital and other professional institutions.
Tuberculosis is especially common in villages as it spreads fast in crowded homes, with low levels of nutrition and sometimes high levels of alcoholism. The clinics run by TSRDS test the patient for TB, register the case and give a standardised nine-month course of free medication, as prescribed by the government’s Directly Observed Treatment, Short course (Dots) programme. Often, treated and cured patients become motivators and educators for others.
Safe Drinking Water
Potable water is indispensable for maintaining health of people. To provide potable water to communities living in rural and remote areas, TSRDS has made provisions for water harvesting and enhancement mechanisms. In FY 2012-13, 372 hand tube wells and 89 deep bore wells were installed for drinking water in Jharkhand and Odisha. To recharge the receding ground water table, rooftop rainwater harvesting structures were installed at four locations.