'Jaipur Foot' - Indian goodwill ambassador to Pakistan

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Jaipur, Sept12: The famous 'Jaipur Foot' of Rajasthan seems to be the new 'goodwill ambassador' to Pakistan as its two permanent centres are proposed to be set up in the neighbouring country.

A 17-member team led by founder and chief patron Dr Mehta of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti(BMVSS), which makes the artifical organs, had returned home from Pakistan on September 7 after a month-long 'on the spot fitment of artifical organs camps' in Karachi and Islamabad.

With the success of the programme, BMVSS has decided to set up two permanent centres in Pakistan - one each Karachi and Islamabad.

Mr Metha, while briefing media here, said the first camp was organised at Islamabad during Aug 10-21 in collaboration with the National Rural Support Programme(NRSP) and the Naya Kadam Trust.

He said the second camp was held in Karachi on Aug 23 in the premises of the Dow university with the Rotary Club of Karachi, Health and Social Welfare Association (HASWA). ''The proposed target was for fitment of artifical limps to about 250-300 people but more than double the number of people turned up and the camp had to be extended for a week up to September 7,'' added Mehta.

He said, ''The demand was so large that we had to airlift the articles and equipments from Jaipur. A total of 586 people were fitted with organs in the Karachi camp. In total, 989 handicapped people were provided with limps and other artificial organs free of charge, he added.

'Though it was a people-to-people programme, the leaders of Pakistan's provincial and national governments highly appeciated the jesture,'' he said. ''I visited Pakistan on many occasion in the past in my official capacity. But my impression is that India never received such positive and extensive publicity before in Pakistan,'' Mr Mehta a retired IAS officer recalled.

The visit also marked the land mark decision to set up permanent centres in Karachi and Islamabad with autonomous organisations and BMVSS as partners. Mr Metha said BMVSS would provide both the centres with raw meterial, components, and also traning to workers of the centres and transfer the technology free of charge.

During this period, the team attended around 403 physically handicapped people.Till now, Jaipur Foot has been sent to 21 countires in the world to provide relief to the people who were handicapped in mines and war zones.


UNI

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