How blessed we are to be able to take for granted the simple tasks of drinking a cup of coffee or combing our hair. But then there are many out there, for whom these are close to impossible. For those who had lost their limbs as a birth defect, to electrocution, accidents and burn injuries, Rotary Club Visakhapatnam brought them a gift that they would really cherish. Free distribution of the LN4 prosthetic arm, was a camp that brought the glow of happiness into many eyes.
“It all started with a mail regarding a camp on the distribution of prosthetic arms from Rotary Club of Poona downtown. While these camps are commonly held across India, we decided to bring it to Vizag as well”, shares Balasatish, President of the RC Visakhapatnam central chapter. Setting expectations to a realistic turnout of 100-150 people, they began campaigning on October 31 through friends and social media. Having reached out to over five lakh people, Balasatish recollects, “The calls that came in during the first week were curious whether this was really true and if there were any hidden charges”. They were assured that there would be no charges involved, and people would in fact get gifts and free lunch in return. Genuine calls soon started pouring in, and the Rotarians worked overtime, answering 80-150 calls per day, classifying them on the basis of eligibility for the arm. With 590 registrations and many walk ins, 640 people attended the final camp on December 9 at AMCOSA auditorium. Coming from Andhra and nearby states, 403 people from ages ranging under 10 to 80 years old benefitted from the distribution.
Provided by the Ellan Meadows Foundation, these prosthetic arms work with a mechanical clasp that can be adjusted. Easy to use, the arm fits four inches below the elbow and allows people to perform tasks like holding a pen to write their name, riding a bike, lifting a cup or even combing their hair. Also while it costs USD 300, the foundation distributes it free of charge through Rotary Club. Support for Rotary also came in through 200 volunteers and the corporate sponsorship by Visakhapatnam Port Trust, HPCL(VR), Shriram properties ltd, CMR Group and others.
For those who couldn’t attend, the camp that brought smiles to many people across the city, will soon be back. With plans to start more such camps, Rotary Club Vizag also wants to start a prosthetic arm center in Vizag, where a particular day will bring people to the center for fitting of these arms. Bringing in a ray of hope for many of the city’s disabled, we wish Rotary the best for bringing more such events into the city.
About Rotary Club
Operating under the aegis of International Rotary Club, the Rotary Club Visakhapatnam central is a chapter with its operational reach from Icchapuram on one side to Vijayawada on the other. One of the 12 chapters of Visakhapatnam, it was established in 1989 and has 35 members. With a diversified approach, each chapter operates independently under the common mandate of the Rotary Club International. This includes focus areas of women development, education, community service, health, water supply, sanitation and medical services. Other projects undertaken by the RC Visakhapatnam central include sanitary pad making under Sampoorna, Rotary Youth Leadership (RYLA) camp and sponsorship of education.