Indian experts in Sri Lanka with Jaipur Foot

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 12, 2010 06:40 hrs

Sri Lanka's separatist war finally over, Indian experts are in the island nation to provide the Jaipur Foot, artificial legs known to be cosmetically and functionally close to the human limb.

Nineteen skilled technicians of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), makers of the famous Jaipur Foot, are camping in northern Sri Lanka to give away the artificial limb to about 1,000 amputees for free.

The Jaipur Foot is considered the most inexpensive and cost effective in the world.

According to A.B. Sharma, the team leader, the Jaipur Foot camp started Friday at Vavuniya, 254 km north of Colombo and a key town in Sri Lanka's former war zone. The camp will end April 10.

D.R. Mehta, founder and chief patron of the BMVSS, said the organisation had fitted more than 370,000 artificial limbs around the world, including in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Sierra Leone.

'The mobility earned through the artificial limb helps amputees to change their lives and earn their livelihood,' he said.

Sri Lanka has known the Jaipur Foot for a long time. Even the Tamil Tigers, who were crushed militarily in May last year, have used them in large numbers for their fighters who lost their legs in the conflict.

The BMVSS has held 36 camps in the world, particularly in countries that have witnessed horrific wars that have left thousands disabled.

According to experts, the beauty of the Jaipur Foot is its lightness and mobility. Those who wear it can run, climb trees, pedal bicycles and drive a car - all without the aid of a stick or any other support.

The organisers believe that the demand for Jaipur Foot could soar in Sri Lanka, where a Tamil separatist campaign that raged since 1983 killed some 90,000 people and thousands injured and maimed, mainly due to landmines.

More from Sify: