New Delhi - November 11, 2009
The multi-state 2009 Jaipur Foot on Wheels initiative, organised by Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd. (Dow India) in association with Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), drew to a close in New Delhi today after giving more than 1,600 physically challenged people a new lease on life. The initiative provided a fully equipped mobile workshop that travelled through Chennai, Bengaluru and rural Maharashtra distributing free Jaipur Foot prosthetics and callipers to the physically challenged. The mobile clinic was made possible by Dow India’s 2009 financial donation of Rs 1 Crore to BMVSS and will now be added to BMVSS’s existing fleet which continues to help physically challenged year round.
“The Jaipur Foot initiative shows how successful a close collaboration between a technology company and a non-Government organisation (NGO) can truly transform science and innovation into tangible benefits for society’s less fortunate. Our partnership with BMVSS has reached out to more than 17,000 people since 2005. This year, with the added reach of the mobile workshop, the Jaipur Foot initiative has been able to touch the lives of more people than ever before, not only in the urban centres of Chennai, Bengaluru and Delhi but also in the rural hinterlands of Maharashtra,” said Dr. Ramesh Ramachandran, president & CEO, Dow India.
Mr. V. R. Mehta, member of the BMVSS Executive Committee and Founder-President of Mahaveer Philippines Foundation Inc in Manila said, “On behalf of BMVSS, I would like to thank Dow India for their ongoing commitment to the Jaipur Foot initiative. In a country that has approximately ten million people suffering from loco-motor disability combined with high levels of poverty, there is a pressing need to provide limbs and other aids to those unable to afford them. The addition of the mobile clinic bus, made possible by Dow’s 2009 donation, has extended our reach and bolstered the number of people we can provide fittings for at each of our camps. You just need to look at the success of our Delhi camp, which has assisted more than 200 physically challenged people in just two days, to see what we can achieve with the mobile clinics.”
The Jaipur Foot Camp organized from November 10-11, 2009 at Chhatarpur, New Delhi, successfully provided Jaipur Foot, callipers and crutches to more than 200 people.
The Dow India “Jaipur Foot on Wheels” mobile workshop began its journey in October 2009 with camps held in Chennai, Bengaluru and Amravati. As Dow India’s signature corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, the company has been collaborating with the Jaipur Foot initiative since 2005 in providing technology expertise, financial donation and employee volunteerism. In that time, Dow India has donated INR 3 Crore ($750,000) to BMVSS funding the manufacture and distribution of limbs and callipers with company employees volunteering as camp facilitators in the communities in which we operate.
Dow India has also donated its technical expertise to BMVVS, leading to a significant design improvement resulting from the development of the polyurethane (PU) Jaipur Foot, a prosthetic limb that has excellent functionally and closely resembles a natural human limb. The change of polymer material to PU produced tangible results. It reduced the manufacturing cost of the foot by approximately 25%, increased the longevity of the foot, enhanced the consistency of quality through the use of a computer controlled injection moulding process, and increased manufacturing productivity from one limb per hour to eight limbs per hour. For the recipient, the foot weight was reduced by around 20% and allowed for 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 has been acknowledged by leading orthopedic experts as having greater flexibility, greater comfort and higher 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 give additional strength and increase the product life.
The closing ceremony for this month and a half long initiative took place at the Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra in Chhatarpur, New Delhi. Dr. Ramesh Ramachandran, president & CEO, Dow India, Mrs. Namita Gautam Director-HR of Sheela Foam, and Mr V.R. Mehta, a distinguished member of the Executive Committee of BMVSS, were all present at the event.
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 callipers in the vehicle, which includes such equipment as an oven, vices, cutters, laser liner, and a vacuum-forming machine. 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 1000 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.
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