Jaipur Foot resumes 20 free artificial limb fitment centers in India

Washington, Sep 22: Jaipur Foot, which is engaged in the service of differently-abled people, has resumed its free artificial limb fitment centers at 20 places in India after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its US-based officials have said.
Interrupted for months since early this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the services at these centers were gradually resumed in later this summer including its birth place and headquarters in Jaipur which attracts scores of differently-abled people from various parts of India.
The latest of these permanent centers were opened this month in Patna, Jaipur Foot USA chairman Prem Bhandari said in a statement.
Other centers being Kota, Bikaner, Udaipur, Bharatpur, Pali, Ajmer, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Noida, Ranchi, Jodhpur, Ambala, Srinagar, Indore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi.
Padma Bhushan awardee D R Mehta, founder and chief patron of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the parent body of Jaipur Foot USA, has ensured that all the safety, hygienic and necessary precautions are being taken at all these centers in India, according to Bhandari.
“Given the dire need of the people requiring artificial limb, especially the poor, a decision was taken to reopen these centers on a priority basis. It’s the poorest of the poor who have been suffered the most in this coronavirus pandemic. As such, our team decided to reopen all the centers at the earliest,” he said, adding that steps are being taken to reopen three other centers in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Lucknow.
The headquarters in Jaipur is now fitting between 30 and 35 artificial limbs every day.
“Our founder D R Mehta personally goes to the center to ensure that all the COVID-19 protocols are followed,” Bhandari said, adding that in just 20 days of its opening, the Patna center has fitted nearly 100 foot to the needy from 22 districts of Bihar.
“Altogether, Jaipur Foot gave a meaning to live a dignified life which made me think and inspire me to work specially in this area,” said Alok Kumar, former president of Bihar and Jharkhand Association of North America.
Kumar worked with Jaipur Foot USA in establishing a permanent center in Patna.
It all started with the proposed free artificial limb fitment camp on April 14. The camp was postponed due to nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
Noting that the new dates of the camp would be announced soon, Bhandari said Bihar Director-General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey has promised to help in the travel of the needy from various parts of the state to Patna for limb fitment.
Jaipur Foot USA and its parent body BMVSS, since 1975, have rehabilitated 1.91 million people with disabilities, the largest for a non-profit body so far.
While BMVSS fitted 31,753 in India and 5,783 artificial limbs abroad in the fiscal year 2019-20, the figure for International Council of Red Cross, which conducts this under Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD), through its assisted organisations in 14 countries of the world – was 4,839 only, he said.
It has also conducted 80 camps in 34 countries of the world. Overall, in the 2019-20 fiscal, the non-profit body helped in rehabilitation of 90,790 people.
Recently, Jaipur Foot USA announced to organise a state-level free artificial limb fitment camp in Gujarat that will provide limbs, hearing aids, clutches and wheelchairs to differently-abled people. (PTI)