GUWAHATI, Sept 2 � Gone are the days when the best equipment available for the persons with disabilities were the old and near-obsolete tricycles and wheelchairs, which left them struggling with their lives! Now, battery-operated motorised tricycles, designed keeping in mind the difficult terrain of the Northeast, would soon be visible on the roads of the region.
For greater convenience of the persons with disabilities, modernisation plans at the government level are on the anvil, which include battery-operated rechargeable tricycles, joystick-controlled wheelchairs, cerebral palsy chairs and many more appliances, to uplift the living standards of the physically challenged persons.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, G Narayan Rao, Chairman and Managing Director of the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), said that the Union government is going to provide considerable subsidy to high-end modern devises that would be launched soon. With Corporate Social Responsibility becoming mandatory, a more targeted approach has been adopted to help the poor and marginalised persons with disabilities.
�The battery-operated motorised tricycles are designed for difficult and hilly terrains like that of the Northeast, where a normal tricycle given to the persons with disabilities is of minimum use. Such tricycles can be recharged with both solar power and electricity,� he said.
The corporation arranges for free disability aid and appliances to the physically challenged persons from poor economic background under various government schemes. The field trial of such modern appliances is on and the devises are under production.
�The more the NGOs and corporate groups come out for support, the more would the needy people be benefited here. We are also ready to establish an artificial limb fitting centre in Guwahati, provided we are granted land for this purpose by any interested individual or agency,� he added. The outreach centre of this corporation in Guwahati would register such needy persons and recommend them for the CSR programmes.
�Technology must bring some changes in the lives of physically or mentally challenged persons. Considering the road conditions here, we can easily understand the plight of a person with paralysis or other multiple disabilities, who cannot operate manual devises. The corporate houses must also come forward for assistance in providing motorised appliances to the needy persons, to help them lead quality lives,� said Debashree Bhattacharya, rehabilitation officer, Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped, Guwahati. Some other facilities to be given free of cost to the needy persons are modern kits for leprosy patients, visually challenged and mentally retarded persons. Such kits include some useful aid and devises needed by such people.
ALIMCO, a non-profit Government of India undertaking, manufactures quality, ISI-marked, cost-affective scientific aid and appliances for all categories of persons with disabilities. It also implements various schemes of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment through its marketing and outreach centres, dealer network, etc.