Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday became a reason for celebrations amid all the gloom in India. From President Ram Nath Kovind to Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to and several Chief Ministers, Governors and Bollywood stars, everyone greeted PM Modi on his 71st birthday.
Meanwhile, a Jaipur non-profit in the US virtually flagged off the launch of the mobile van for prosthetics fitment in Gujarat, giving differently-abled a reason to cheer and hope for an independent life.
Jaipur Foot USA organized an event on Friday to celebrate PM Modi's birthday by committing to provide free prosthetic fitments for differently-abled people at their doorstep.
One prosthetic limb at a time
BMVSS has been committed to helping differently-abled people with the help of BJP-led government. Its partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs under India for Humanity banner to conduct prosthetics fitment camps around the world reinforces India's soft power. Thanking PM Modi, Prem Bhandari, Chairman of Jaipur Foot USA, said the Prime Minister has been a guiding force and blessed this partnership.
BMVSS has helped over 6,000 differently-abled people across 13 foreign camps. He also thanked Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India, for renewing the agreement to organize another 12 prosthetic fitment camps last August, which allowed the non-profit to conduct its first prosthetics fitment camp in Uganda last December.
BMVSS fitted 31,753 prosthetics in India in 2019-20
BMVSS fitted 5,783 artificial limbs abroad in 2019-20
BMVSS has R&D partnerships with Stanford, MIT, Harvard and others
On the occasion of PM Modi's 71st birthday, BMVSS has committed to helping at least 71 differently-abled people. Jaipur Foot USA and BMVSS fulfilled their commitment in just seven days. BMVSS was able to successfully complete 71 artificial limb fittings in Vadnagar, Gujarat. In addition to that, the mobile van distributed calipers for 51 polio patients and 30 crutches.
Recalling PM Modi's active participation in this initiative, D.R. Mehta, founder of BMVSS, spoke about the Prime Minister's visit to BMVSS international center in Manila, Philippines and interactions with artificial limb recipients.
PM Modi had even inaugurated the prosthetics fitment camp in April 2016, which was organised on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar at Mhow, MP.
Dr. H R Nagendra, founder Chancellor of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, who flagged off Friday's launch event, spoke on the occasion and lauded BMVSS's contributions. His request to organize an artificial limb fitment camp in Bangalore and establish a permanent center at the University premises to help differently-abled people in Karnataka was accepted.
Fruition of a novel idea
The idea for a mobile van of prosthetics fitment was the brainchild of 17-year-old Nikhil Mehta, who is the youth coordinator for Jaipur Foot USA. He came up with the mobile service for differently-abled in a bid to help the rural people in this COVID environment where the movements are restricted, and transportation is difficult. Mehta even funded the project, which involved purchasing a large van, equipping and installing the equipment required, and a power generator to power the equipment in case the village doesn't have electricity.
The mobile van initiative addresses the prosthetics fitment problem for the people from the lowest economic ladder of our society, which is done in collaboration by Jaipur Foot USA and its parent BMVSS. The van is capable of helping 7-10 differently-abled people each day, which will commence its operations starting from Vadnagar - the birthplace of PM Modi.
Note: This article has been updated on September 25, 2021, to include the progress of the mobile van for prosthetics fitment in Gujarat, an initiative by Jaipur Foot USA and BMVSS.