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Dow India & BMVSS Launch the Jaipur Foot Camp on Wheels Initiative

Dow’s multi city signature philanthropic campaign in association with BMVSS to begin from Chennai

October 05, 2009

Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd. (Dow India) today announced a financial donation of Rs 1 Crore for the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti's (BMVSS) Jaipur Foot initiative, a continuation of their multi-year association with the organisation. This donation will help provide prosthetics limbs and calipers to more than 5000 physically challenged people in India this year. The 2009 funding is also providing a mobile vehicle fully fitted to run Jaipur Foot camps for distribution of free limbs, calipers and crutches to people in rural areas across India.

The mobile workshop was flagged off at the Dow India Engineering Center in Guindy, Chennai during the inaugural event hosted by Balaji Venkataraman, president of Dow India Engineering Center and Mr D R Mehta, founder and chief-patron of BMVSS.

In addition to the mobile bus, a two day camp is being held in Chennai on October 6 & 7, 2009 at T.Nagar to kick-start this year’s campaign. Camps will also be held through October and November 2009 in Mumbai, rural Maharashtra, Bangalore and Delhi. Through these camps Dow India and BMVSS aim to provide prosthetic and rehabilitation aids free of charge to more than 1000 physically challenged people.

Dow India has had an ongoing collaboration with the Jaipur Foot initiative since 2005 combining technology expertise, financial donation and employee volunteerism. Dow India has donated INR 3 Crores ($750,000) in the last three years to BMVSS providing direct funding to the association to fund limbs, calipers and crutches, changing the lives of more than 16,000 physically challenged people. In addition, Dow India supported three foot camps in 2008 at Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune where more than 300 Dow India employees participated as camp volunteers.

This technical collaboration between Dow India and BMVVS’ expertise led to the improvement in design and development of a polyurethane (PU) Jaipur Foot, a prosthetic limb that has excellent functionally and is cosmetically close to a natural human limb. The change of polymer material to PU produced tangible results: reducing the manufacturing cost of the foot by approximately 25%, increasing the longevity of the foot and increasing manufacturing productivity from one limb per hour to eight limbs per hour with enhanced consistency of quality through the use of a computer controlled injection moulding process. For the recipient, the foot weight was reduced by around 20% and allows greater flexibility enabling recipients to not only walk comfortably, but also to squat, kneel, crouch and sit cross-legged, an all functional, all terrain limb. The PU foot that has been acknowledged by leading orthopedic experts as having greater flexibility, greater comfort and high durability. Development work continues today with Dow India’s PU team looking at coating the foot with an elastomer layer to increase longevity and developing a rigid PU keel to help give additional strength and increase the product life.

“Dow India has been passionately committed to BMVSS to ensure the success of the Jaipur Foot initiative on multiple levels. The mobile workshop we have funded this year will help BMVSS to reach out to a larger number of the physically challenged people across the rural areas of India.” said Dr Ramesh Ramachandran, president and chief executive office (CEO) of Dow India.

“We are grateful to Dow India for their continued support. The mobile bus will continue to allow us to expand our efforts in India further, increasing the number of camps that we are able to hold. Indeed, from 50 camps across 10 states of India in the last financial year (2008-2009), we plan to hold 65 camps in this year (2009-2010),” said Mr Mehta.

About the Mobile Workshop / Jaipur Foot Camp on Wheels

The mobile workshop is a stand alone model of ‘Chassis’, a bus from Force Motors of Pune, a well known company having German collaboration. The bus is fully equipped to fabricate artificial limbs and calipers, which can be fabricated in the vehicle, holding equipment that includes an oven, vices, cutters, laser liner, a vacuum forming machine, etc. The mobile workshop is staffed by seven technicians who are able to complete on the spot tailoring and fitting of prosthetic aids. Technicians on this workshop can fit up to 20 artificial limbs and 30 callipers per day.

About Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti

Since its inception in 1975, Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) Jaipur, has become the world’s largest limb fitting organisation, helping more than a million physically-challenged people to be mobile again by providing artificial limbs, polio callipers, wheelchairs, tricycles and crutches free of charge to the beneficiaries in India and around the world. BMVSS’s efforts help thousands of physically challenged people gain mobility and dignity each year. For more information www.jaipurfoot.org

About Dow India

Dow Chemical International Private Limited (Dow India) is committed to consistent growth through its expertise as a science and technology leader, its experience as a leading chemical company, and its engagement with the communities in which it operates. With more than 1100 employees, in 12 locations across the country, Dow India has established three Centers of Excellence in the areas of Engineering (Chennai), Research & Development (Pune) and Transactional Services and Expertise (Mumbai) as well as three manufacturing sites and a variety of commercial offices. As a responsible corporate citizen, Dow India provides free artificial limbs and technology development for the 'Jaipure Foot' initiative; built homes through the 'Habitat for Humanity' Jimmy Carter Work Project, and is actively working in collaboration with the Byrraju and Anarde Foundation to supply clean drinking water to villages in India. Further information can be found at www.dow-india.com.


For Editorial Information:

Mahathi Parashuram
Dow India
+91 99406 30046

Roysten D’mello
Dow India
+91 98338 59074