Bengaluru

These women with disabilities lend support to many

Members of RAWWD making Artificial Limbs at a workshop in Bengaluru.

Members of RAWWD making Artificial Limbs at a workshop in Bengaluru.  

RAWWD has provided 40,000 differently-abled people with prosthetics or supporting devices

Twenty-two years ago, a group of people who were passionate about empowering women with disabilities started a non-governmental organisation with the aim of hiring women to make prosthetic devices.

Today, Rehabilitation Aids Workshop by Women with Disability (RAWWD) has not only helped women earn a livelihood but has provided 40,000 differently-abled people with prosthetics or supporting devices like braces at rates that are lower than the market price.

Indra Moses, finance manager, said the women employed by the NGO develop prosthesis (an artificial body part) as well as orthosis (supportive use of artificial devices such as splints and braces). Seeing their success rate and quick delivery, a large number of city-based doctors refer their patients to RAWWD.

Currently, the organisation employs eight women of whom seven are differently abled. All the women employed have to take a certificate course in prosthetics and orthotics at a Bengaluru-based training institute that is accredited by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics. So far, more than 26 have been trained at the institute.

Before developing a prosthetic or supporting device, the women meet the client and get a detailed medical history. Their clients include adults and children from all walks of life who have cleft foot, cerebral palsy or have lost a limb.

Standing with the help of her crutches, Prema, 43, who suffered from polio when she was a toddler, gives finishing touches to a night splint that is being made for a one-and-half-year-old child. She is working at the RAWWD centre on Old Airport Road. “Early detection of the disability goes a long way in ‘fixing’ the problem. When we were young, we did not have all these tools,” said Prema, who has been with RAWWD for 23 years now.

Another employee, Noor Jan, 50, who also had polio as a child, has been working in the centre for the past two decades. “I am thrilled when children tell us that they see significant intervention in their mobility because of our help,” she said.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 3:00:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/these-women-with-disabilities-lend-support-to-many/article28237100.ece

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