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Times of India
07 February 2011
By Sukhada Tatke
Mumbai, India

Taking note of the rising number of students affected by retinal problems in civic schools, the BMC has in its latest budget made a provision for providing spectacles to thousands of students. While the token amount has not been announced in the budget presented on February 1, the municipal corporation has taken serious stock of the problem as it provided spectacles to as many as 2,863 students in 2010 under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan.

Former education committee chairman Ram Barot said, "A basic vitamin A deficiency is leading to the problem. The children’s food intake is not nutritious. Besides, there are other conditions like most of the children study in the dark. If their problems are not detected at an early stage, then the children are likely to face severe disorders."

The BMC has also addressed the need of students affected by heart problems. The civic body has allocated Rs 15 lakh to facilitate the heart surgeries of two children. "During the school health diagnosis programme, it was observed that 15 students suffered from heart and other severe ailments. Of the 15, two students have undergone heart surgeries," said additional municipal commissioner M M Adtani.

According to the BMC, between 2009 and 2010, a mere 1,78,939 students from primary schools, 16,094 students from secondary schools and 656 students from the schools for mentally challenged underwent medical check ups. As many as 292 students from the schools on the city’s outskirts were checked and treated.

From June 2010 to December 2010, nearly 80,492 students underwent check–ups. Of these, 25,302 students were found to be suffering from minor illnesses and were treated at municipal dispensaries, while 5,681 students required further treatment in municipal hospitals.

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