Dow India launched a mobile workshop fitted with facilities to fabricate artificial limbs and calipers for the disabled in Chennai city and rural remote areas in Tamil Nadu, South India. The Jaipur Foot Initiative is jointly operated by Dow India and an NGO, Bhagawan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) to distribute prosthesis and mobility aids like crutches, calipers and wheelchairs to the needy.
The mobile foot camp is a bus having seven technicians and a doctor who will take measurements to make prosthetic aids which will be supplied within a day of taking the order. Similar mobile camps are making their rounds in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in India. According to the Samiti's founder D.R. Mehta, a month-long free foot camps at Kandy and Jaffna in Sri Lanka are in the offing to provide low cost prosthetics to those who lost their limbs in mine blasts and similar war-related incidents in the ethnic war.
Dow India's Engineering Center (IEC) has developed a polymer to reduce the weight of the Jaipur foot by nearly 50% and afford a higher degree of flexion. The breakage rate has also come down from 20% to 4% and trials are on to bring down the breakage rate further. Newer versions of the Jaipur foot allow a higher degree of ankle maneuverability than Western prosthetics, according to D.R. Mehta. Over 16, 000 people have benefited since the Dow-Samiti partnership began in 2005. Accident victims, polio affected persons and diabetic foot amputees are among the beneficiaries.