Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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27-12-2006 : Majitar, Sikkim
Disability Removal: Our Mission

I am indeed delighted to be here and declare the light weight Floor Reaction Orthosis camp open for the entire north-eastern States. My greetings to the members of the Sikkim Vikalang Sahayata Samiti, NGOs of north-eastern States, orthopedics specialists and other participants of this camp. I am happy that the Sikkim Vikalang Sahayata Samiti had organized a screening camp at Gangtok in partnership with Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). I understand that 65 patients have been found suitable for Caliper fitment so far and I am sure that the launching of this camp would enable many more from all the north-eastern States will be benefited by this light weight technological aid. would like to discuss on the topic ?Disability Removal: Our mission.?


Training and Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation process should aim at enabling persons to reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social functional level. It has to include measures to provide and restore functions to compensate for the loss or absence of a function. It should include from more basic and general rehabilitation to goal-oriented activities, for instance vocational rehabilitation.

Training is an important educational mechanism to remove the disabilities. We have recently come across one interview with a wrestler who is knee-less and hand-less. The training from childhood, will power to be on own and above all the willingness of benefactors with love and compassion to go all out to help such special persons demonstrates that the special abilities can be built.

Dr Stephen Hawking is one of the most accomplished physicist of our time. This great scholar was affected by motor neuron disease which deteriorated so much that it threatened his research career. His speech became slurry and many people predicted that he will not live to complete his Ph D. His determination and the help that he received from modern technology made sure that he not only lived to complete his Ph.D., but also made the most enviable contribution to Physics, the string theory. He is a great living example in radiating the confidence to win in the midst of number of physical disabilities.

I am glad to know that the efforts are not only towards fitting this caliper but also to adopt them to the specific condition of the north-eastern terrain and weather. With the partnership of the specialists doctors, volunteers, NIMS, DRDO, technicians, and family members, I am sure we should be able to facilitate the polio affected children to lead a normal life.


Blossoming of spirit of service

I have experienced that the composite product technologies helped the disabled to have light weight artificial limbs or FROs (Floor Reaction Orthosis) ? Calipers at an affordable cost. I could see the happiness of the recipients in Bhuj after earthquake disaster and in remote villages in Ranga Reddy district. Now I would like to narrate my experience of visiting a FRO Camp at Belgaum for providing rehabilitation to polio affected and special children.

A seven year old boy Master Bhimappa, son of a labourer belonging to Belgaum District, Karnataka studying in primary school had lost both his lower limbs in a road accident. He wrote me a letter seeking help for rehabilitation. Then three of my friends Dr. A.S. Pillai, Dr. L. Narendranath, Shri. Mayank Diwedi, went into action.

Dr. Narendranath, Orthopaetic Surgeon, NIMS, Hyderabad examined the boy ? diagnosed and prescribed bilateral above knee prosthesis for him. Sthree Sakthi of Lions club of Belgaum came all out to help the boy by taking him to Hyderabad and treatment commenced on fitment and gait training. With this prosthesis fitment, Master Bhimappa walked confidently and was able to negotiate distances comfortably. Based on this experience Belgaum camp was arranged. After this event, there were FRO camps at Loni (Maharashtra), Nallakonda (Andhra Pradesh) and Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu). So far, we have already completed fitment of 10,000 FROs. I am happy today this FRO camp is being held at Majitar near Rangpo for the first time for rehabilitating polio affected children of north-eastern States. This shows the nobility of heart of all the participants in this mission.

I am confident that the NGOs and Government functionaries in other areas of the country can follow this model for providing relief and rehabilitation to the differently abled children and bring smiles in their faces.


My Experience in Tanzania

I visited Tanzania and South Africa during September 2004. My programme included a visit to Uhuru Primary School in Dar-Es-Salaam, capital of Tanzania where an inclusive training is provided to physically challenged children along with other students. Uhuru Primary School set up in 1921 also admits children with multiple disabilities along with other children. This I consider a great social cause.

Prior to our visit to Tanzania, Shrimathi Meira Kumar, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment had sent a team of doctors and experts with appropriate systems like wheel chairs, hearing aids, prosthetic kits, headphones and Braille slates to Dar-Es-Salaam. Nearly 500 Tanzanian children were provided the assistive devices like hearing aid, tricycles, folding canes and Braille slates. Our team also trained them for using these devices in their day-to-day activities.

When I reached the school on 13th September 2004, it was a moving sight to see physically and visually challenged children trying to keep in tune with their school mates. A band was at hand playing rhythmic tunes on which the children were singing and dancing to celebrate the arrival of the ability. I realize whether India or anywhere, the abilities provided in an environment of happiness and thankfulness engulfed.



The 2001 census indicates that over two crore people suffer from different types of disabilities. The category wise distribution of disabilities is as follows: Visual one crore, locomotors sixty lakh, mental twenty two lakh, hearing thirteen lakh, speech sixteen lakh. The largest number of disabilities is either visually challenged or movement disability. Hence, all the effort must be directed towards finding technology tools for removing these two impairments. The work done in removing this pain is definitely God?s work. I would request the NGOs, corporate, academicians, philanthropists and the government establishments to join together for finding lasting solution to make the life of these two crore people in the country productive. This I would consider a great contribution towards betterment of quality of life of specially challenged persons and enabling them to contribute for national development missions.

Once again let me congratulate the members of Sikkim Vikalang Sahayata Samiti, NGOs of north-eastern States, COMMITMENTS, Hyderabad, doctors and technicians from NIMS, Hyderabad, DRDO and other administrators participating in this camp for bringing smiles in the faces of 65 children today. My best wishes to all the participants for success in their mission of removing the pain of the people.

May God bless you.


Seven Point Oath for People with Special Abilities

1. I will not allow my special abilities to come in the way of my progress.

2. I will work hard, and when the problem occurs, I will defeat the problem and succeed.

3. I will try to excel in every field by acquiring knowledge.

4. I will assist other members who are having similar disabilities by sharing knowledge and helping them to gather courage to overcome their problems due to disability.

5. I shall always keep my home, my surroundings, neighbourhood and environment clean and tidy.

6. I will always celebrate the success of my colleagues and friends.

7. We are all God?s children, our minds are stronger than diamond. We will win, win, win with our mighty will. When God is with us, who can be against!




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