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India PM distributes free prosthetic limbs

  • Written by Itchie G. Cabayan
  • Published in Metro
  • Read: 134

ON the sidelines of his Asean Summit visit to the Philipppines, Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas
Modi of the Republic of India took some timeout to lead the distribution and fitting of at least 150
free prosthetic limbs to Filipino amputees, which included 14 soldiers who fought in Marawi.

The soldier-recipients who bravely fought the terror group members in Marawi lost either a leg
or an arm in the process.
    
Prime Minister Modi, who was joined by Mahaveer Philippines Foundation, Inc.  head Dr.
Veerendra Mehta and officers of the ruling PDP-Laban in Manila, led by third district Councilor
Bernardito Ang and former fifth district Councilor Felix Espiritu, had been constantly supporting
similar charitable activities of the same foundation in India and encouraged those who may need the
free aid to visit the foundation or approach Councilors Ang and Espiritu.
    
Ang said the MPFI had been giving away free prosthetic limbs to Filipino amputees for the past
28 years and that the total number of those who benefitted has already breached 10,000 or some P640
million worth of prosthetic limbs. The said program is open for those who are indigents or who cannot
afford the high costs of prostheses. 
    
According to Ang, an above-the-knee prosthesis for instance, would cost about P132,000 while
the one below-the-knee is roughly P30,000.
    
Established in 1985 through the help of then Mayor Ramon Bagatsing, Coun. Espiritu said the
foundation began its charitable works when Dr. Mehta’s wife Vimla was in the country and saw a parking
attendant with a missing leg.  In its stead was a piece of wood and when asked why he had no
prosthetic leg, the attendant told her he had no money to buy such. 
    
From then on, Dr. Mehta and his wife coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare then
headed by Mita Pardo de Tavera who helped the foundation look for people in need of artificial limbs.  
Prosthetics are not only intended to restore the normal functions of the missing body part but
also restores one’s mobility and dignity, said Dr. Mehta. 
    
Meanwhile, foundation president Enrique Lim said the vice chief of staff has referred the 14
soldier-amputees for free prosthetics and according to him, the foundation is willing to help since
these soldiers fought for our country ‘and we owe them’.  
    
Espiritu, meantime, said that any amputee can come to the said foundation for help, free of
charge.