Technicians making artificial limbs at the workshop in Jaipur.
Artificial limbs, prosthetic limbs or prostheses are mechanical replacements for missing limbs –arms or legs. When people have the misfortune of losing their arms or legs due to injury, disease or birth defects, artificial limbs help amputees get back to their normal functioning to a certain degree. Cancer, infection and cardiovascular disease brought about by disorders like diabetes are leading illnesses that cause amputation. Serious calamities like the recent earthquake that devastated Haiti bring in their wake thousands of seriously injured people who will need artificial limbs as their wounds begin to heal.
The manufacturing process of the foot. Each craftsperson makes 5 to 6 feet per day. They work a 6 day week and the majority of them are amputees or affected by polio themselves. Various rubber and wooden pieces are used to construct the foot before it is put into a die that gives it the realistic appearance.
Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) is the world’s largest organisation serving the disabled. This NGO provides all its assistance, including artificial limbs, calipers and other aids and appliances totally free of charge.
BMVSS was registered as a society under the Rajasthan Societies Registration Act on March 29, 1975 (vide registration number 261/1974-75). It has its headquarters at Jaipur (India). It is a pan-Indian organisation having 22 branches, spanning Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) to Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) to Guwahati (Assam). Metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Varanasi, Patna, etc also have limb fitment centres of BMVSS. Details can be found under the Locations section.
Since inception, BMVSS has rehabilitated more than 1.3 million amputees and polio patients by fitting / providing artificial limbs (Jaipur Foot variations), calipers, and other aids and appliances, mostly in India and also in 26 countries