Now a prosthetic hand with which one can write, eat and even drive a car
‘The focus is to bring dignity to the lives
of the disabled’
Over 3,000 people with disabilities are expected to benefit from the camp
Bangalore: Everyone is familiar with the Jaipur foot, a remarkable innovation where an artificial foot is tailored to suit the Indian lifestyle. Now at the Jaipur limb camp, which is on till January 10 in the city, is a multi-purpose prosthetic hand with which one can write, eat and even drive a car or ride a bicycle without much difficulty.
The camp, the eleventh in the city, has been organised by Rotary Bangalore, Peenya, in association with Sri Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayatha Samiti, Jaipur, and supported by Rotary International District 1250 and 1130. Twelve sample pieces of the prosthetic hand were donated by the U.K. Rotary Club.
Participants are provided free board, lodging, callipers, walkers, tricycles, wheelchairs, as well as surgery if needed. The aim is to reach out to the disabled everywhere. More than 15,000 people have benefited from the earlier camps and this time over 3,000 people with disabilities are expected to benefit from the camp.
Crippled by polio
When The Hindu spoke to some of the participants, it was found that quite a few of them had been crippled by polio.
M.K. Panduranga Shetty, former director of Rotary International, said the organisation’s focus was to bring dignity to the lives of the disabled.
“Money cannot buy it. We should educate and encourage parents to take their children to the polio booths and make India polio-free,” he said.
Etthiraj (76), a doctor, suffered from a bone infection when he was 14 years old, following which his legs were amputated. He has since been living with artificial limbs. As a volunteer, he has participated in all the previous camps. “Till the age of 58, I was using an artificial limb made by an organisation in Pune. I was later introduced to the Jaipur foot and have since been associated with the organisation,” he said.
Julie, chief coordinator of the Jatti Foundation, is also a beneficiary. “I contracted polio as a child as my parents did not know about the vaccination. I have been working as a volunteer as a way of giving back to the organisation which has helped me a lot,” she said.
Zarina Bi has come all the way from Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. A diabetic for the last 15 years, she had to amputate her leg six months ago. She will be fitted with a Jaipur foot here.
She said: “I am happy. I am sure it will help me take great strides.”
Praveen Kumar (24), from Hassan, came to the camp to change his callipers. An adverse reaction to the polio vaccine affected his legs and he has been relying on callipers ever since.
A beneficiary gleefully demonstrated what he could do after being fitted with the Jaipur limb.
He jumped, ran and even danced on stage. Addressing the gathering, he said: “I am no different from normal people. I sometimes forget that I have an artificial limb.”