A van equipped with modern treatment facilities appears as a blessing for poor physically challenged people in the district, thanks to the initiative of Jatiya Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation under the government's social welfare ministry.
The mobile clinic named 'Mobile rehabilitation van for persons with disabilities' provides free treatment for physically challenged people.
"I am suffering from paralysis for about 10 years but failed to get cured after spending money. Now I am feeling well after taking free treatment at the mobile van for three days from Saturday to Monday," said Abul Kalam, 50, a street beggar of Hossenpara area of Kuakata municipality in the district.
Rokeya begum, 45, of the same area, came to the van to take treatment after hearing about it from a neighbour.
"I am suffering from backbone pain for about seven years. I took different types of treatment and spent much money but didn't get any relief. I am very happy to get free treatment from the van as my family cannot afford to bear my treatment cost," she said.
Like Kalam and Rokeya, many other physically challenged people are very happy as they are getting quality treatment from the mobile van free of cost.
During a visit to the area on Monday afternoon, this correspondent found many poor people coming to the van at Kuakata municipality office premises to take treatment for free.
Jatiya Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation (National Foundation for Development of the Disabled Persons) is providing the treatment through the mobile van as part of an initiative under the social welfare ministry.
"A total of 203 physically challenged people took treatment from the van during our three-day visit in Kuakata while the number of such beneficiaries since January 1 this year is 1337," said Nayan Moni Biswas, an official working at the van.
"We have also continued providing such treatment including necessary medicine free of cost to the physically challenged people from our office on College Road in Patuakhali town since June 13 in 2013, serving a total of 20,572 people so far," he said.