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ARTICLE: Institute for the Physically Handicapped: Making Life Move
Monday, 10 June 2013 03:52

Institute for the Physically Handicapped: Making Life Move

Hemant Kanwar was suffering from post-polio residual paralysis in the left lower limb. He was not able to walk steadily and had to rely on others to take him from one place to other. Being unemployed, he also had to face problems when appearing for job interviews. Facing severe problems even to accomplish his day-to-day activities, Hemant consulted the doctors of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for the Physically Handicapped (PDUIPH). Somewhere in March this year, he received a Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO) from the Delhi-based Institute. Now, after wearing an orthosison his left leg, he feels a drastic change in his life. With orthosis, walking became much easier for Hemant. He is ecstatic that now he does not have to rely on others for support. He looks and sounds confident as he can now commute to different places through public transport systems such as buses among others. He says that the best thing after this surgery is the fact that he gained immense amount of confidence as now there was no mental apprehension of falling down while walking. And now he is employed with a Multi- National Company as an Operations Administrator, where he has to perform desk jobs as well as attend various meetings and conferences in different places. Each time he takes a walk without any physical support, he thanks PDUIPH.

Set up in 1976 as an organisation to empower persons with disabilities under the Disability Division of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, PDUIPH provides out-patient clinical services in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, apart from providing social, psychological and vocational counseling services to persons with disabilities.

It is known that India is home to a large number of disabled persons from the low-income group. Large number of disabled persons cannot have access to various benefits of the new technologies and appliances as they are unable to purchase them. Paying heed to these concerns, the Government of India decided to make the Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP) of the Government of India more accessible and more user-friendly, so that the needy are not deprived of aids and appliances, which are essential for them. PDUIPH provides prosthetic, orthotic and other rehabilitation aids under ADIP scheme at minimum costs.

Take the case of eight-year-old Tisham Ali. Tisham suffered from hip disarticulation since birth. Belonging to a poor family, Tisham’s disability was haunting his family a lot. His father, who does a private job, was told by someone to take his child to PDUIPH. After being examined by rehabilitation professionals in the Institute, Tashim’s father was advised that his child had congenital limb deficiency and that he should be given hip disarticulation prosthesis. The prosthesis was made in the Prosthetic & Orthotics workshop which helped Tashim to walk comfortably without support. The prosthesis, which was light in weight and aligned properly, helped Tashim to execute his daily activities – right from going to school to playing with friends – easily.

The ADIP Scheme provided by the Institute helps disabled persons like Hemant and Tashim by bringing suitable, durable, scientifically-manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances within their reach. The primary objective of the Scheme is to assist lower-income disabled persons in procuring sophisticated, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by immensely reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential. The Scheme also include under its umbrella, medical/surgical correction and intervention, which is essential before fitment of aids and appliances. It is to be noted that a disabled person should be certified by a registered medical practitioner that he/she is disabled and fit to use prescribed aid/appliance, so that he/she can be eligible for assistance under ADIP Scheme.

The Institute for the Physically Handicapped (IPH) provides all types of prosthetic and orthotic devices; mobility aids like tricycles, wheelchairs, crutches walking sticks and walking frames/rotators; all types of surgical footwears and MCR chappals; special mobility aids for visually disabled people with muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy like adapted walkers; and various types of hearing aids, under the ADIP Scheme to the disabled individuals. An occupational therapist,Jitendra Kumar was facing difficulties in standing, walking and performing his daily activities due to his shortened lower limb. After an assessment in IPH, an extended lower limb prosthesis was designed, fabricated and fitted to him. With the help of the prosthesis, Jitendra is able to drive vehicles, and he has become fully independent. He is now leading a successful life and contributing to the society by rehabilitating patients and person with disabilities.

In this manner, the Institute for the Physically Handicapped improves and enhances the quality of life of the disabled persons. It also gives them confidence to face the everyday challenges of their life. It also helps the disabled persons become earning members of their family, hence making them achieve economic self-dependence and also be able to live and pursue their activities with dignity.