An Indian NGO has been providing some much-needed relief to more than a million Afghans, who have lost their limbs in land mine blasts, by providing them with the famous Jaipur foot.
The artificial limbs are provided by the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samity (BMVSS), an India based organization based at Jaipur. The BMVSS are the makers of the world famous Jaipur Foot which has benefitted over 1.4 million handicapped persons (specially abled) all over the world. The artificial limb which is high in technology and low in cost provides not only mobility to the amputees, but also dignity.
Afghanistan, which for over two and a half decades has seen wars and conflicts, has thousands of men and women who became the victim of war and lost their limbs for various other reasons like accidents and gangrene have found the Jaipur foot a very handy tool which is very easy to handle and has proven durability.
"We have been facing hard time due to war and conflict which have affected numerous families. I was totally disturbed when I lost my one leg in landmine blast four years ago and became handicapped with almost zero mobility. Making a living was difficult and challenging, yet I managed to earn some money by selling fruits along a roadside and now I am happy when I will be able to move independently without sticks," 48-year old Abdul said.
He brought three other amputees along with him to get fitted with the light weight Jaipur foot which is being provided to amputees free of cost in a camp here organised by an Indian not -for -profit NGO of Rajasthan's Capital Jaipur- Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS),the world's largest organisation for handicapped.
24 years Mirwaiz said he was gainfully employed as a soldier had not even in the wildest dream imagined that his life would take a sad and painful turn. While on the job in a troubled area in Kandahar, he lost one leg because of a massive blast. "Nothing was going right for me and to add to my miseries I lost my parents and I as the only offspring had to face these difficult times solely," he says.
Mirwaiz carries with him his despair and pain and the added worries of losing the job as he has lost one of his leg in the blast has further saddened him. "But Jaipur Foot has given me hope and the specialists and artisans from Indian, after examining my because has assured me to provide a prosthetic which would not only allow me to walk easily, but I would be able to even run. Now I can even find a bride for myself." said Mirwaiz wearing a broad smile on his face as he waits for his turn to come for measurement of the foot to be done by the Jaipur Foot team.
On one single day at the Kabul's Khair Khana where the BMVSS is holding the camp 65 handicapped were attended and some of them walked with the artificial limb the very next day with confidence with the smile on their face that ended years of miseries. The camp will be there till July 7 and by that time the BMVSS hopes to provide fitments to 1000 amputees free of cost. The camp has been organized by the BMVSS with the active support and cooperation of the Afghanistan's Ministry for Labour, Social welfare, Martyrs and Disabled.
" We amputees used to share our pains and miseries, but were hardly of any help to each other being handicapped. But the Jaipur foot has given us mobility and the opportunity to earn our bread as we have gained active mobility The BMVSS like any other normal person," Ahmad Shah said.
This is the fifth visit of Jaipur Foot team to Kabul in which 1000 Jaipur Foot will be provided. On earlier four visits, on the spot fitment were provided to 3051 people and this time the a team of specialists and artisans will provide 1000 artificial limbs.
"The objective of such camp is to help amputees not only standing or moving but to reintegrate into society with dignity. We aim to socially, economically and physically rehabilitate. The BMVSS has undertaken the venture to help the handicapped Afghans," D R Mehta, founder and chief patron of the organisation, said. Limbs are provided free of cost to the handicapped who have lost limb below the knee and also above the knee.
The camp is being sponsored by Al Falah bank. BMVSS has provided the artificial limbs to over 1.4 million since 1975 world over that included in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, Nairobi, Panama, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, Trinidad, Vietnam, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Mauritius, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Fiji, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Malawi, Dominican Republic apart from Afghanistan.