Prakash Bhandari: Jaipur Foot, the low cost, but high on technology artificial limb that has had a footprint in 34 countries will now go to more underdeveloped nations to serve the disabled. After rehabilitating over 6,000 amputees in a dozen countries, the Jaipur Foot is all set to travel to more countries in the next three years.
Jaipur Foot is a product of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), a non-profit organisation, founded by DR Mehta in 1975.
It played a vital role in supporting and expanding the production of the Jaipur Foot – a prosthetic leg. Today, the Jaipur Foot is the world’s largest organization for the rehabilitation of handicapped with over 1.7 million beneficiaries.
What is the Jaipur Foot
Low cost is the reason for its popularity and it is probably the world’s cheapest prosthetic leg. Use of rubber and wood in making the prosthetic leg helps keep its cost low but it is not as durable as the composite carbon fibre variants.
A Jaipur Foot typically lasts for about three years and after that, a user may need to get a new one fitted. People using a Jaipur Foot can run, dance, climb trees, cycle and do almost all the activities.
BMVSS says the foot costs Rs 4700 to manufacture although it is provided free to recipients. Internationally the Jaipur Foot is known for its low price and high-quality performance. Impressed with the worldwide goodwill of Jaipur Foot, the Ministry of External Affairs under the “India For Humanity” programme began 13 artificial limb fitment camps in 12 countries.
More than 6,500 artificial limbs were fitted in these camps. These camps were sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the initiative was part of the 150th Mahatma Gandhi birth anniversary celebrations, said,” Satish Mehta, who has been India’s ambassador to Kuwait.
What the ‘India for Humanity’ programme achieved
Overwhelmed by the success of the project that earned India enormous goodwill, the MEA has extended its agreement with the BMVSS for the “ India For Humanity “ programme for a further period of three years. Under this programme, the MEA will hold international artificial limb fitments camps in various countries to help those who have lost their limbs.
Mehta, who is the honorary international director of the BMVSS said that these camps aim to provide for the physical, economic and social rehabilitation of amputees by helping them regain their mobility. He said the camps were organised in Vietnam, Myanmar, Malawi, Iraq, Nepal, Egypt, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Syria, Tanzania, Senegal and Namibia.
He said the BMVSS will organise more such foreign camps by sending its technical team while the MEA will finalise the names of the countries where these camps will be conducted.
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