A Kerala government scheme that is putting a smile on the faces of the elderly

This program by the Social Justice Department is giving senior citizens in the state lots to smile about. Called ‘Mandahasam', which means smile, the initiative is providing free teeth replacement surgeries to the elderly.

‘Mandahasam’ is a state-wide initiative to eliminate nutritional deficiency seen in the elderly who cannot chew their food. In Kerala, the elderly make up 20% of the population.

The scheme aims to reduce nutritional, physical and mental problems faced by the elderly people after losing teeth - Kerala Social Justice Department

Eligibility criteria

Officials say the scheme is reaching out to people above 60 years of age below the poverty line. All that the applicants have to do is to show a medical certificate to get a free set of teeth. Once approved, they can seek treatment at any of the government or private hospitals listed under the scheme. The government plans to reach out to dental clinics as well so that more senior citizens can be helped.

The program has been planned only for one year as of now but may be extended if it gets a good response.

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