Amid COVID-19, mobile van by Jaipur Foot USA to offer artificial limb fitments

NEW YORK, July 12:  Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaipur Foot USA is making efforts to provide free artificial limb fitments to differently-abled people through a specially-designed mobile van that will soon offer fitments in districts in Gujarat.

Jaipur Foot USA Chairman Prem Bhandari said that the fully-equipped mobile van that will soon hit the road will have three technicians and experts who will be able to carry out 8-10 artificial limb fitments daily.

The initiative was kicked-off by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan in New York on Saturday.

New York-based youngster Nikhil Mehta came up with the idea of the mobile vans. Jaipur Foot USA is already in touch with the district administration of Vadnagar in Mehsana, Gujarat in connection with fitting free artificial limbs for differently-abled persons, Bhandari said.

Bhandari met with Muraleedharan here and shared with him details of the mobile vans and efforts by Jaipur Foot USA to continue limb fitments amid the pandemic.

Accompanying Bhandari were Mehta, gastroenterologist Dr Nilesh Mehta, Jaipur Foot USA Joint Secretary Nishant Garg and Captain Stanley George, Commanding Officer in the New York City Police Department, among the highest ranking Indian-Americans in NYPD.

Bhandari said Jaipur Foot USA parent organisation Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti-BMVSS (BMVSS)’s founder Padma Bhushan D R Mehta had a similar vision and voiced appreciation for the idea of the mobile vans. The Mehsana mobile van camp will be sponsored by Bhandari and Kanak and Prabha Golia.

Bhandari told Muraleedharan that Gracious Givers Foundation USA, founded by Garg, will be giving tablets and mobile phones to students in Kerala. As part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, the Ministry of External Affairs had launched the ‘India for Humanity’ initiative in October 2018, under which 13 artificial limb fitment camps were organised in 12 countries and more than 6,500 artificial limbs were fitted.

These camps were “fully sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs and materialised by the renowned charitable organisation “Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti” (BMVSS),” the MEA had said in a statement in August last year.

On August 5, 2020 the agreement between the MEA and BMVSS was extended for another three years till March 2023. Bhandari said the contract has been renewed for 12 more camps. While one camp has been completed, BMVSS is ready for 11 camps.

He expressed gratitude to Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla for renewal of the contract with BMVSS for the camps. Bhandari applauded the Ministry of External Affairs for its efforts of helping Indian citizens around the world during the pandemic. He said Shringla was instrumental in resolving several issues relating to the Overseas Citizen Of India (OCI) cards.

Bhandari also expressed gratitude to Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola for their efforts in helping alleviate the hardships faced by Indian citizens and diaspora due to the various travel and visa restrictions put in place due to the pandemic. (PTI)