Himachal CM launches HimCare scheme for jail inmates
The HimCare scheme launch also included the Integrated STI, HIV, TB, Hepatitis (ISHTH) campaign in prisons and other closed settings at Kanda Jail, which will screen and treat inmates across the state
Chief minister (CM) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu introduced the Himcare scheme for jail inmates on Monday, by providing Himcare cards to the prisoners at Model Central Jail Kanda in Shimla. The initiative aims to cover the cost of premiums for inmates, easing their financial burden during their time in prison.
The launch also included the Integrated STI, HIV, TB, Hepatitis (ISHTH) campaign in prisons and other closed settings at Kanda Jail, which will screen and treat inmates across the state.
The chief minister said registration of inmates under the scheme has been initiated and 100% would be achieved shortly.
Additionally, plans are underway to introduce an educational scheme specifically aimed at children residing in Bal Sudhar Grih, further demonstrating the government’s commitment to supporting vulnerable populations, he added.
Sukhu said the state government has given legal backing to the Mukhya Mantri Sukh Aashray Scheme, which provides comprehensive support to orphaned children up to 27 years of age. This includes covering their education and hostel expenses, providing them with a pocket allowance of ₹4,000 and offering financial assistance to construct homes.
Sukhu said covering the jail inmates under HimCare was a compassionate decision as they had to face a paucity of funds for treatment during their illness.
Giving details about the integrated campaign ISHTH, the CM said it aims to screen and treat 3,218 inmates in 14 jails in the state, and 1,278 inmates of Juvenile Homes, Nari Niketan and Drug Rehabilitation Centres across the state by June 14. He said that to make the campaign successful, teams have been formed at the district level, consisting of various medical professionals like district AIDS programme officer, ICTC, ART, counsellor, lab technician, freezer peer mobiliser and paramedical staff. The health department would provide free counselling, treatment and medicines for HIV, TB, STI and Hepatitis to the jail inmates during the campaign. He emphasised that timely treatment is necessary to prevent the spread of infections in society after the release of inmates.
The CM also awarded the winners of the AIDS awareness competition organised for the jail inmates on the occasion. Rakesh Kumar stood first, Swarnajit Kaur secured the second position and Hitesh Sablaik got the third place.
Earlier, the CM inspected the exhibitions of the products made by the prison inmates. Health Minister Dhani Ram Shandil, secretary (Health) M Sudha Devi, and ADGP (Jail) AP Singh were among others present on the occasion.