Thiruvananthapuram

Shubhayatra towards disabled-friendly State

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja and K. Muraleedharan, MLA, at a function to launch the Shubhayatra project of the State government in the city on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: C. Ratheesh Kumar

In a step towards making the State disabled-friendly, 10 high-tech wheelchairs, developed by the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum, were distributed to physically challenged persons in connection with the launch of the Shubhayatra project of the State government here on Tuesday.

Minister for Health and Social Justice K.K. Shylaja, who inaugurated the project, said Shubhayatra was a significant step in welfare of the physically challenged.

The government was emphasising early detection of and intervention in problems faced by the differently abled to bring them into the mainstream.

Many schemes

A number of schemes had been formulated with this aim under the Anuyatra project.

Funds had been set aside for setting up early intervention centres in all district hospitals. Twenty-five mobile units for detection of autism and cerebral palsy in children in rural areas and providing them physiotherapy and other treatment would be inaugurated in August.

 

She said camps for distributing assistive devices would be held in all districts utilising Union government funds.

The Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation should make modern devices available to the physically challenged.

Minister for Education C. Ravindranath, who presided over the function, said Shubhayatra would help in personal and social gains for the physically challenged. The wheelchairs would help overcome problems in their mobility, and contribute more human resource to society.

K. Muraleedharan, MLA, was the chief guest. District panchayat president V.K. Madhu, Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation chairman Parasuvakkal Mohanan, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Harikumar, and Kerala Social Security Mission Executive Director Mohammed Asheel were present on the occasion.

Cost of wheelchair

The cost of development and fabrication of the motorised wheelchair is ₹43,000. The cost per unit is expected to come down to around ₹30,000 if these are mass produced, Arul Gerald Prakash, Director, KSSTM, said.

The KSSTM was ready to offer technology for the manufacture of the wheelchair to the Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation, he said.

More modifications could be made to the wheelchair, so that it could be controlled by EEG for those who had speech impairments, he said.

The wheelchair could navigate 15-degree slopes.

The KSSTM is also working on the development of the prototype of a power bed.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 3:27:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/shubhayatra-towards-disabled-friendly-state/article19304277.ece

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