Tuesday, June 15

Ortho-mattresses for Bengal MLAs

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If the long Budget assembly session that begins on Friday threatens to give MLAs sleepless nights, here’s something that promises to provide them better shut-eye after a day’s work, while taking excellent care of their spines. After several MLAs staying at the MLA hostel on Kyd Street complained of backache and arthritic problems, the Bengal legislative body has decided to replace all old mattresses there with high-quality ‘orthopaedic mattresses’.

Assembly sources said the decision to purchase mattresses was taken after MLAs — mostly from the districts, who stay at the hostel when the House is in session — complained of poor living facilities. “Speaker Biman Banerjee directed the House Committee, headed by Tapas Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress MLA from South Asansol, to submit a report regarding improving infrastructure at the hostel,” said a senior official. “One of the recommendations was to purchase these ‘ortho-mattresses’, as many of the MLAs were found suffering from backache and spondylosis. The speaker then asked for a tender so that the mattresses could be bought.”

An orthopaedic mattress is one that’s designed to support the joints, back and overall body, created to combat problems one might experience with a bad back or joints by providing a firm surface that offers targeted support. But since there is no government standard or official designation that qualifies one mattress to be orthopaedic, the modern use of the term “orthopaedic” is largely a marketing term.

“The mattresses we are replacing had been purchased at least 20 years ago, and all of them were in a very bad condition. So, the new mattresses had to be purchased,” said Tapas. “As most MLAs are elderly and have orthopaedic problems, the committee recommended ortho-mattresses. The MLAs have to sit the whole day — not less than six to seven hours at a stretch — and they need comfortable sleep.”

A total of 200 mattresses have been bought for each bed at the hostel. Nearly 60% of these 200 MLAs who regularly use the hostel are aged 60 and above.

New TV sets and curtains have also been installed. At the House itself, special massage chairs have been installed on the first floor.


Source: Times of India

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