Disabilities have more to do with the core functions of the body being damaged or affected, thus diminishing a person’s mobility and routine way of life. It’s not about free will; it’s more about the freedom to move and act without being hampered by various bodily dysfunctions. People who have lost their limbs due to accidents (e.g. landmine explosions), illness (like polio) or being naturally born with it appear to be socially discriminated. Society judges them and doesn’t give them the leeway of living normal lives.
Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the world's largest organisation rehabilitating millions of people with disabilities, aims to improve people's lives by providing artificial limbs, calipers and other aids and appliances totally free of charge.
BMVSS hopes to erase the stigma associated with disabilities and help people cope and take back their mobility and dignity again. It is also the renowned creators of the Jaipur Foot.
Here are brief but inspiring stories of people who did not let their disabilities affect them. With the help of Jaipur Foot, they re-took control of their lives.
Sudha is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. She was only 17-years-old when she encountered a road accident that caused her left leg to be amputated because of gangrene. Many, including her fans, thought that her amputation would end her dancing career. With a genuine passion for her craft, she did not allow her disability to keep her down. With the help of Jaipur Foot, she pursued dancing and became an acclaimed film and television actress. She inspires many up and coming dancers and even established a dance academy where she emboldens her young students to take up a career in dancing.
It happened during a harrowing train accident where the 22-year-old Sayali lost her legs when she fell off the train and slipped into a gap between the footboard and the platform. She thought her dreams of becoming an IAS officer were crushed. But her will and determination kept her going. Her family, stressed about the accident, arranged for her to be fitted with prosthetics. According to her father, Sanjay Dhamdhere, Sayali is able to stand on her own with the help of Jaipur Foot. Now Sayali is fully recovering, both in her spirit and body.
Brandon Ah Kong
Brandon is a 15-month-old boy from Seychelles, East Africa. He actually became the youngest beneficiary of Jaipur Foot. When BMVSS organized a camp at Solitude in Mauritius, the Jaipur Foot team used innovative technology to prepare the smallest artificial limb in the world that would fit Brandon perfectly. According to Devendra Raj Mehta, chief patron and founder of BMVSS, Brandon has become one of the youngest global beneficiaries of Jaipur Foot. “As he grows in age and height, he will continuously get a new Jaipur Foot [free of cost].”
These stories are only tiny slices of the whole pie – where Jaipur Foot has created a special impact on the identity and dignity of people with disabilities, both locally and abroad.