Florida student supports HEAL Paradise Village health care initiative WITH the financial backing of Florida student Krishna Gopal Bellam, HEAL Paradise Village hosted a Mega Health Camp, conducted by Siddhartha Medical College alumni, as the showpiece campus welcomed more than 30 doctors into its newly-constructed Skills Development Centre recently. The inauguration of the centre was presided over by the central Minister of Science and Technology Sri Sujana Chowdary and the state Health Minister Sri Kamineni Srinivas. The event itself was created and organized under the guidance of Mr Bellam, who has spent time volunteering at Paradise Village over the past two summers. He is the son of Dr Radhakrishna Bellam, whose family have donated Rs 1 crore for the Navaratna Siromani Bellam Memorial Health Care Centre. This centre, soon to be constructed on the Paradise Village campus, will provide on-site health care for children, staff and volunteers, as well as incorporating an artificial limb centre for the support of child amputees, consisting of a workshop where prosthetics will be manufactured and a fully equipped fitting and rehabilitation space. All visitors to the Mega Health Camp were given an extremely warm welcome from the children, who performed a variety of cultural activities such as colorful dances and patriotic songs. The visitors were also given a tour of the site, including the new dormitories funded by HEAL’s principal partners The Hans Foundation. Some 720 local residents from 15 nearby villages benefited from the HEAL Paradise health camp, which involved check-ups, X-rays and sight tests. Many specialist doctors gave their time for the cause, including paediatricians, gynaecologists, orthopaedic surgeons and endocrinologists. Each visitor was assessed for their specific needs and those who required treatment obtained a free 30-day supply of medication. The 200 children of HEAL school also received health check-ups and Hepatitis B vaccinations. Dr N Ammanna, senior nephrologist at the Aru Kidney Centre in nearby Vijayawada, kindly agreed to return to the school a month after the camp to complete the children’s second round of inoculations. HEAL is particularly proud to be at the forefront of a new joint initiative aimed at helping vulnerable young amputees get back on their feet, following a funding agreement with Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope (ELoH). Beneficiaries will be able to blend in to life at Paradise Village and have access to other services offered at the health centre, such as receiving a full medical check-up. Combining HEAL’s local knowledge and ELoH’s expertise in providing prosthetic, educational and psychological support, this project is designed to serve the needs and promote the independence of child amputees across Andhra Pradesh. Mobile clinics will allow patients to be identified in some of the most inaccessible rural areas in and around the Krishna and Guntur districts, enabling the development of a register of amputees in the region. Meanwhile, work is well advanced on the Phanendra Chunduri Institute for the Visually Impaired, a building which will become a learning space for the schooling and vocational training of 100 visually impaired children. The Institute’s facilities will include a low vision lab, braille computer lab and printing facility, as well as purpose-built sensory gardens. The new Ramaseshamma Chunduri Vocational Training Centre, which is ready for use, will provide annual vocation-related training to 900 students in 10 different courses, including electrical installations, plumbing, welding, carpentry, computer repairs, electronics repairs, tailoring and computerised embroidery, para-medical and artificial limb technician training.