The home club of TRF Trustee Chair Kalyan Banerjee, Rotary Club of Vapi, District 3060, commemorated the Foundation’s Centennial Year by providing prosthetic hands for 177 people across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
It was a significant moment for Dinesh Khatri of Mehsana to see his five-year-old son Vijay “eat food, play ball, and hold the steering handle of his little cycle on his own. It’s a new life for him and a miracle in our life. A big salute to your team.” The child had lost both his hands a year ago, when he accidentally touched a 11,000-volt live wire. The camp examined 17 children under 12, and the prosthetic hands fitted at the prime age of their life is a gift of life for them. It was an emotionally charged atmosphere at the fitment camp as beneficiaries experimented their ‘new hand’ to do simple chores for which they had to be helped by others earlier.
Hands to the armless, is more than a project, much more than giving relief and hope. It is like giving a new life altogether.
— Kalyan Banerjee
“Initially as we planned this camp four months ago, though we understood its impact on the recipients, little were we prepared for the excitement and emotions of the beneficiaries and their caretakers. Their eyes, lit up with hope as they got the prosthetics fitted, and their expression said it all. We won’t forget this for a long time,” said Ketan Patel, the club’s vice president.
This was the first such camp implemented by the club with mentoring from RC Poona Downtown, D 3131. The hands were sourced from Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation of the US and routed through RC Bangalore Peenya, D 3190, with whom they have a tie-up. The two-day camp worked out to Rs 3.5 lakh. The Rotarians had arranged boarding and lodging for the beneficiaries and trained them to use the prosthetics.
“The priceless combination of tears and smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries and their families cannot be replaced by any other recognition or awards. It can only be felt, not explained,” said Project Chair Sanjay Desai.
“It was a dream project that consumed my sleep and waking hours since the day I was elected to lead my club. I am happy my team has made a difference to so many people,” said Club President Harish Kothari. DGN Pinky Patel was also present.
I have no hands, but yours
Here is a special message from TRF Trustee Chair Kalyan Banerjee to his club:
Providing hands is one of Rotary’s most rewarding projects. I like to tell the story of a small European town in the Swiss Alps during the Second World War. The Germans bombed the town and the statue of Jesus Christ in the town’s church was broken badly. After the raid, the people of the town collected the pieces of the statue and put it together. Every broken piece was found and joined except the two hands of Jesus Christ. The town’s people continued to look for the missing pieces till one day they found someone had put up a sign in front of the statue which read: “I have no hands but yours.”
Hands to the armless, is more than a project, much more than giving relief and hope. It is like giving a new life altogether. Those without hands have no hands but yours.