Jaipur Foot for Angola landmine victims (India/Angola)

LUANDA (Angola): After providing mobility to thousands of people in India and abroad, Jaipur Foot will soon come to the aid of Angolans who have lost their limbs during the 27-year civil war.


The south African nation, which saw a large number of its citizens falling victim to landmines laid across the country, approached India which, on humanitarian grounds, has agreed to set up and run an artificial limb factory and centre in this capital city free of cost for two years.

During his talks with various Ministers here earlier this week, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh assured them that India was keen on setting up the factory and centre soon.

According to government estimates, around 1.7 lakh Angolans have lost their limbs. The situation is still grave as nobody knows how many landmines lay beneath the soil of Angola. Experts say the number could be anywhere between 5 lakh and 10 lakh, making Angola one of the worst landmine-affected countries.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Ramesh said: "It is these people whom India wants to help. The factory and limb centre would be set up with the help of a non-governmental organisation. The factory was expected to manufacture around 400 artificial limbs a month. Raw material worth over $2,00,000 would be provided by India for two years. "After two years, the factory will be handed over to the Angolan authorities."

Angola would also depute its staff at the factory and centre so that they could be given training.

Pointing out that Jaipur Foot had revolutionised life for millions of landmine amputees, Mr. Ramesh said that apart from being cost-effective, the artificial limb was light and made mobility easy.

The users would be able to run, climb trees and ride bicycles.

Jaipur Foot was invented by Pramod Karan Sethi, an orthopaedic surgeon, who was a Fellow of Britain's Royal College of Surgeons, along with artisan Ram Chandra.

Von: 6.4.2008, www.hindu.com, by Sandeep Joshi

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