27 October 2010
By Sandip Kolhatkar
People with physical disabilities have begun queuing up at the Shasakiya Bahu Uddheshiya Apang Sammishra Kendra at Golf Club Road in Yerawada here from Tuesday to begin a new life with Jaipur Foot, callipers and crutches free of cost at a four–day camp, organised by Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) and Dow India. The camp will conclude on October 29.
Dow India is having collaboration with the Jaipur Foot initiative since 2005, combining technology, expertise, financial donation and employee volunteerism. Dow India has donated Rs 5 crore during the last five years to BMVSS, providing direct funding to the Association to fund limbs, callipers and crutches, changing the lives of more than 20,000 physically–challenged people. A volunteer at the camp said, "There are many people coming from different parts of the State and we have done arrangements for their breakfast, lunch, tea, coffee and dinner. We are also providing accommodation for the patients."
She added that, "We feel satisfied and delighted when we see a person with disabilities come with support, but leave on his own feet." The camp helps people with physical disabilities to get a new lease of life, she added.
The technical collaboration between Dow India and BMVVS expertise has led to improvement in design and development of a polyurethane (PU) Jaipur Foot, a prosthetic limb that has excellent functionality and is cosmetically close to a natural human limb.
The change of polymer material to PU produced tangible results, reducing manufacturing cost of the foot by 25 per cent, increasing the longevity of the foot and increasing manufacturing productivity from one limb per hour to eight limbs per hour. Besides, there is an enhanced consistency of quality through the use of a computer–controlled injection moulding process. For the recipient, the foot weight has been reduced by around 20 per cent, allowing greater flexibility enabling recipients to walk more comfortably.
The physically–challenged persons are examined in a bus which is fully equipped to fabricate artificial limbs and calipers. The bus has all equipment, including an oven, vices, cutters, laser liner and a vacuum forming machine. It has 7 technicians who do on the spot tailoring and fitting of prosthetic aids. They can produce up to 20 limbs and 30 calipers per day.