The aim of the second part of the polio eradication story is to show what effect polio has on people and what will happen if the eradication program fails.
There over 350,0000 polio survivors in India, many with crippling limb deformities. The Jaipur Limb Centre is seen as a centre of hope for their future. An incredibly uplifting place, hundreds of people with all manner of limb trauma, polio and other debilitating injuries arrive every morning. They are all seen personally by the founder D.R Mehta, a tall, energetic 70 year old ex civil servant who saw an inadequacy in this area of health care for the poor following a life threatening car crash. Since founding the centre in 1975, over 1 million people have had their lives transformed by making them mobile, regaining self respect and their human dignity.
Within hours of reaching the centre, they are sized, fitted and taught how to walk again on their new artificial limbs. Polio survivors are given tricycles which can be seen all over India being used as tea shops or telephone booths making them financially independent, sometimes for the first time in their lives.
The pics below are black and white as I feel that fits the situation but will look at that again after another edit. The last working day tomorrow then back home to prepare for the Jersey Rotary launch evening at Government House on March 3rd. I’ll try and post again but please feel free to check back for further updates and the full stories from both India and Mongolia in the next few weeks..
Founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre D.R Mehta talking to Pinod (36), a polio survivor. Since setting up the centre in 1975, over 1 million polio and limb trauma patients have been treated, usually from the poorest sections of Indian society.
A Jaipur artificial limb stands between two amputees waiting for a limb fitting.
A double amputee in the overnight dormitory awaiting treatment the next morning. Every day hundreds of patients from all over India turn up for treatment and not everyone can be seen that day.
Gajanand (35) caught polio as a child and suffered severe leg paralysis. He lives in Mumbai and travelled over 1,100km to Jaipur to receive a Tricycle to help him work. When he arrived with his wife and 2 children they had just 20 rupees left (about 30 pence).
Gajanand gives his daughter Pooja (5) some water whilst they wait to be seen by technical staff.
Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor background in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.
Gajanand waits outside the office dealing with the tricycles all day.
Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor backgrond in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.
Gajanand tests out his new tricycle with the aid of his youngest daughter Sunu (2) pushing behind. The family will be given clothes, a small business start up kit and a train ticket back to their home in Mumbai to hopefully have a fresh start in life.