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Monday, 30 June 2014

NGO distributes free artificial limbs in Kolkata

Dozens of physically disabled people in Kolkata are distributed artificial limbs and are further made to indulge in preparing the same for those facing similar trouble. Mahavir Seva Sadan, a self help group, employs nearly thirty such disabled people to manufacture prosthesis for those sharing the same dais.

Mahavir Seva Sadan enrolls people for designing and making artificial limbs.


Mahavir Seva Sadan enrolls people for designing and making artificial limbs.

With an objective to distribute artificial limbs to physically challenged people, Mahavir Seva Sadan, a social organisation, enrolls such people for designing and making artificial limbs after bestowing them with the same. In an attempt to help those who wish to regain their movements, the organisation runs the social service absolute free of cost.

"Our prime objective is to make them self sufficient after getting these new legs. We have about thirty technicians working here who themselves are handicapped. They had initially come in order to get artificial legs, but now they are under our employment making these legs. Our objective is to bring them into the mainstream because they have lost all hopes after losing their limbs. We try to make them regain their confidence," says Vijay Chaudaria, president, Mahavir Seva Sadan.

"I met with an accident in 2001. I stayed at the hospital for a year. When I returned home, I was told about Mahavir Seva Sadan. After coming here, I received an artificial leg and a hand free of cost. I did not have to spend a single penny for the facility. I was also given a job here. And I make it a point to make my own living and live a normal live. The life time facility is provided to us free of cost," says Gopal Roy, one of the beneficiaries currently working as the lift guard at the premises.

A pioneer in Eastern India for organising workshops to meet the requirement of orthopaedically handicapped persons, this voluntary organization was initially originated in 1985 at the basement of a multi storeyed property, but now runs several departments at a five storeyed building with the support of several employees and sponsors.

"We have never approached anyone for money. We began this by coming together and making contributions. If anyone wants to sponsor in his name, he is most welcome. People come on their own to sponsor," says J.S. Mehta, founder of the organisation.

Rendering quality services to its beneficiaries without charging a penny at its own diagnostic and pathology facility centre, Mahavir Seva Sadan houses most of the modern machineries to provide grade treatments by offering artificial limbs, calipers, molded shoes, wheelchairs, tricycles and other accessories to its patients. Moreover, under the supervision of experienced orthopaedic doctors, prosthetic engineers, physiotherapists and several dedicated volunteers, it also provides free consultancy and medications to all beneficiaries as well as the general public.

In order to ensure that the facility is available to those residing at rural areas, Mahavir Seva Sadan organises full-fledged camps across various districts in the country and has even held camps abroad.

"We have been holding camps throughout India that is fully equipped with whatever we have here. We travel with generators and legs are manufactured on spot. We have also visited outside India like Kuala Lumpur, Nepal, Ireland, and South Africa. We respond to invitations and visit these places. In Malaysia, they have developed a liking for our work. They like our technicians from Kolkata", says J.S. Mehta.

Interestingly, solely providing limbs to the disabled does not seem to suffice the interests of the body. For the institution believes in establishing a person capable enough to run his own livelihood.

"We have a vocational training center where we give them training such as computer training, stitching training, bag making training. We have employed teachers in order to give them this training. They can use this training to get jobs or start their own business. We even provide them with micro finance that will enable them to start a business", says Vijay Chaudaria.

"I have been associated with Mahavir Seva for the last 19 years. They contribute artificial legs to those in need. It is very comfortable to move around them wearing them. Now they are providing us with vocational training where we are taught how to make paper bags and many other items. I get paid on a monthly basis. Mahavir Seva Sadan provides us with a lot of assistance. They help us during times of trouble," says Loknath Yadav, another beneficiary.

Moreover, the society also shelters a separate department for differently-abled children, providing them with affirmative inspiration to survive with the mainstream society.

"During my visit to Ahmedabad, I saw Celebral Palsy children being treated at an institution. They are mentally retarded and physically institution. In Kolkata, there wasn't any such institution providing free services. We have four people taking care of the department inclusive of speech, occupational therapist and a physiotherapist," says J.S. Mehta.

The employees in the organisation may be physically challenged but that does not refrain them from contributing to society. Their strength of character and will to surpass all odds is something that helps them to lead a normal life.

Source : India Today , 24th June 2014

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