Mobility Aids For Sri Lankans

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The civil war which devastated Sri Lanka for nearly 25 years has killed thousands and disrupted the lives of others, causing grievous physical injury resulting in the loss of limbs due to land mines and bombs. Rotarians from India and Sri Lanka came forward with many welfare projects to help these people lead a near normal life.

RC Salem North, District 2980, conducted a mega artificial limbs project to provide mobility for the physically challenged in the island. A fund raiser cultural programme that also served as a Rotary Day event was organised. Club President V Sivakumar said that the ticketed event fetched Rs 9 lakh which was used to fund the project.

A specially formed organising committee with support from Rotary and Lions Clubs of Jaffna interacted with various voluntary organisations in Sri Lanka for short-listing the beneficiaries and getting their requirements. A team of Rotarians from the club met the beneficiaries at Sri Lanka and took their measurements.

The artificial limbs were custom-made using a special fibre that would last for at least 15 years and a German steel rod. These limbs were much lighter than the ones used currently. “We wanted to provide the latest and the best quality limbs,” said Sivakumar.

The fitment camp was conducted at the Rehabilitation Centre in Vishwa Medu, near Kilinochi in April. Initially 60 people were given the mobility aid but noting the huge demand — 700 needy people — this was turned into a 5-year project. “I will continue this project in the coming year. We also plan to adopt Vadakatchi, a village in Sri Lanka to provide vocational training centre and a library,” said DGE Vasu.

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RI Director Bharat Pandya is Treasurer for Rotary International for 2020-21, when Holgar Knaack will be RI President, JohritaSolari will be the Vice President and Stephanie Urchick, the Executive Committee Chair.