Kolkata: The state Youth Services and Sports department will initiate the enrolment of retired sports personalities under the Swasthya Sathi scheme from April 1.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that retired sports personalities will be brought under the scheme that already exists and more than 2.5 crore people are deriving its benefits. She had made the announcement while addressing the "Khelashree" programme that was held at Netaji Indoor Stadium in January this year. The initiative was taken up to ensure that veteran sports personalities do not face any problem in getting any sort of treatment.
According to a senior official of the state Youth Services and Sports department, the retired sports personalities can collect application forms from April 1 and from the same day the filled up forms may be submitted. The official further added that the forms can be collected from the office of the department at the New Secretariat Building, its offices in the districts and also from the offices of different sports' associations.
Steps have also been taken to make the forms available online. A large number of forms are expected to get submitted this time since it is for the first time that retired sports personalities will get enrolled in the scheme. So the last date for submission of application forms, that is April 30, has been mentioned to ensure collection of a maximum number of forms at the earliest. "But it doesn't mean that one cannot apply after April 30 as it is a continuous process," the official added. The filled-in application forms will be sent to the state Health and Family Welfare department as it is the implementing authority.
It may be mentioned that retired sports personalities will get a medical benefit of up to Rs 5 lakh per annum under the Swasthya Sathi scheme. The beneficiaries can avail treatment in more than 500 hospitals and nursing homes which are graded under three categories on the basis of services available and there is also information support system through which related details over the phone may be obtained.