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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

1.6k find their feet, courtesy Jaipur Foot : Varanasi

he Jaipur Foot organisation is known worldwide. What is lesser known, however, is that the Varanasi branch of JaipurFoot running at Mehmoorganj area has helped over 1600 differently-abled people walk on their feet.

Run under Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the Varanasi centre of Jaipur foot has been providing free of cost artificial legs or calipers to physically disabled people for more than three years. Interestingly, while the centre has the privilege of being the only branch of Jaipur Foot in the state, it caters mostly to people from Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

According to chief coordinator, Varanasi branch, Monika Singh, the centre was opened in September 2009, on the suggestion of Padma Bhushan DR Mehta, founder of Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahyata Samiti, the organization which provides the Jaipur foot free of cost. "At this centre we provide calipers only. These are extremely light, durable and easy-fitting. A number of patients with polio and other forms of physical disability in legs can avail this facility," informed Singh, who works with about 10 other women as project coordinators.

"There is no age restriction in getting these calipers. Anyone who needs it can get it once the doctors and technicians examine the person. The calipers can be removed and washed; the patient can walk, run and dance and perform any physical activity like normal people. Noted dancer Sudha Chandran is one such example, who is also the brand ambassador of the Jaipur Foot," she informed.

"All the funds needed for fitting the calipers come from donations. We do not venture out for donations, but clubs and social organisations and even individual donors can contact us. We have enough donors so that no patient ever returns hopeless. Various clubs and social organisations also sometime approach us with patients and tell us to provide the calipers. Apart from that, we also have some anonymous donors who donate on a regular basis. Dr Ibrar Ahmed and Dr DN Pandey appointed by the BMVSS fits the calipers onto the patients," she informed. Apart from fitting the calipers, the organization also organises camps for providing mobility aids to people who cannot walk. A camp was organised in its premises on Wednesday when 24 tricycles were distributed to the differently-abled.

Source : T.O.I , 9th May 2013 

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