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Taming Disability

Taming disability has always been a concern. NGOs such as Impact India Foundation seek to provide easier access to healthcare especially to habitations away from medical facilities

Did you know that roughly 70 million people in India are disabled? This constitutes more than 6% of the country’s population; a whopping 80% of these live in villages. Being poor, they have little or no access to treatment or medical care whatsoever. This is where Impact India Foundation (IIF) steps in. Established in 1983 by the United Nations and launched by the Indian government as an ‘international initiative against avoidable disablement’, IIF acts as a catalyst to bring together the corporate sector, NGOs, professionals and the community. IIF partners with the government in mass health programmes for prevention and cure of disablement. Driven by its slogan—Action Today To Prevent Disability Tomorrow—IIF has three distinctive projects: Lifeline Express (LLE)—the world’s first hospital train, Community Health Initiative (CHI), and Lifeline Express Mobile Clinics (LLEMCs).

IIF is best known for Lifeline Express, also known as the ‘Magic Train of India’. Run in partnership with the Indian Railways, it has medically served more than 700,000 disabled rural poor through 137 projects, restoring sight, movement, hearing and correction of cleft lips with dental and neurological treatment—all completely free of cost.

CHI was set up in 2005 when IIF was invited by the government to undertake a project for holistic health improvement to support the National Rural Health Mission. CHI has achieved remarkable results. For instance, it has succeeded in reducing the number of persons with disabilities by 72% in the tribal areas of Thane district (Maharashtra) with the ‘donated’ skills of hundreds of volunteers who contributed to treating and transporting patients and created information systems and portals to extend its outreach. CHI conducts training sessions for government-appointed ‘Accredited Social Health Activists’ (ASHAs) to identify high-risk ante-natal care (ANC) cases as well as ensure that they get treatment and follow-up care. From April 2011 to March 2012, as many as 1,504 pregnant women completed ante-natal check-ups whilst 516 were motivated to deliver babies in institutions instead of unsupervised home births. CHI’s ‘Baby Wrap’ project uses donated patchwork quilts to prevent neo-natal mortality due to hypothermia. IIF’s close monitoring of ante-natal and post-natal care has helped reduce infant and maternal mortality rates. To reduce anaemia in adolescent girls, CHI does everything from personal counselling, haemoglobin estimation, providing iron & folic acid supplements, de-worming, as well as promotion of kitchen gardens for vegetables.

CHI has been developed as a replicable model for which Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has prepared a manual to share the processes to be followed. Zelma Lazarus, CEO, IIF, says, “Impact’s Community Health Initiative is a unique, far-reaching, sustainable model project easily replicable by all corporates under their CSR programmes.”

Public transportation is scarce and infrequent in many parts of rural India. IIF’s LLEMCs facilitate easier access to healthcare. The vans are equipped with vision and hearing testing equipment and reach out to serve rural communities in partnership with various hospitals in Maharashtra. Five LLEMCs have screened over 200,000 rural poor patients so far, for prevention of disabilities through early detection and treatment of deafness, cataract, squint, glaucoma, vitamin-A deficiency and night blindness.

IIF’s objectives are aligned with the United Nations’ 2015 millennium development goals. IIF expects to scale up operations in areas where prevalence of disability, malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality is high. For this, it seeks contributions that entitle donors to 100% tax deduction under Section 35AC of the Income Tax Act.

Impact India Foundation
Nhava House, 65 Maharshi Karve Road,
Marine Lines, Mumbai 400 002, India
Contact Person: Neelam Kshirsagar
Phone: (91-22) 6633 9605/6633 9606
Mobile: 9820237581,  Fax: 91-22-22010594
Email: [email protected]


Delhi rape victim dead; body to be flown back tonight

President Pranab Mukherjee, prime minister Manmohan Singh and a host of political leaders condoled the death of the girl and paid rich tributes to the victim for her brave fight

Singapore: The 23-year-old victim of the brutal gang rape and assault in Delhi that had triggered an outrage across India died early Saturday morning here after putting up a brave battle for life for nearly a fortnight, reports PTI.
The girl, who was admitted to the well-known multi-organ transplant facility Mount Elizabeth Hospital here on Thursday morning in an extremely critical condition, breathed her last at 4:45am (2:15am India time). She was earlier treated at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.
“We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am on 29 December 2012 (Singapore time),” the hospital's chief executive officer Dr Kelvin Loh said in a statement.
“Her family and officials from the High Commission of India were by her side. The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss,” the statement said.
The body has been moved to the mortuary in the Singapore General Hospital and will be flown back to India by a chartered plane. Accompanied by her family, the body is expected to arrive in Delhi in the night.
Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, prime minister Manmohan Singh and a host of political leaders condoled the death of the girl and paid rich tributes to the victim of the sexual assault for her brave fight.
The girl was raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus by six men in Delhi on 16th December and thrown out along with her companion.
Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan told reporters that the family was yet to decide on the plans for the last rites back home.
He said the girl fought a brave battle till the end. She was brought to Singapore for being provided good medical treatment.
The envoy said, “The family is shattered by this development. At the same time, they realised that best possible medical attention was given. And in the end it was the scale of injuries that proved too much for the medical attention provided to her.”
He said the final few hours was a trying time for the girl’s family and they bore the entire process with a great deal of fortitude and courage.
Raghavan said he has passed on the condolence message of the prime minister to the family in which he had spoken of the desire to make India a demonstrably better and safe place for women to live in.
Raghavan said the High Commission has received numerous messages from various quarters including the Singapore government deeply mourning the death.
He appreciated the help extended by the Singapore foreign ministry, the government and the Mount Elizabeth Hospital for all their support in the last two days.
Replying to questions on the shifting of the girl from Delhi to Singapore, he said consultations were held between doctors of Safdarjung hospital and Mount Elizabeth Hospital and they must have given full thought to it before taking it.
Asked whether doctors felt that she could have died due to her shift from Delhi to Singapore, Raghavan said “no such sentiments were expressed to me. Both the doctors (PK Verma of Safdarjung and Yatin Mehta of Medanta Medicity) said she was very badly injured in the assault of 16th December night.”
He said the best possible treatment was given to the girl in Delhi and in Singapore and the cause of her death was “the injuries she sustained”.
“All possible medical efforts were made to treat the injuries. The efforts were not successful in helping her to overcome the injuries,” he said.
Declining to go into the details of the family, he said they had requested that the privacy of their identity be protected.
Meanwhile, the Mount Elizabeth hospital added: “We are humbled by the privilege of being tasked to care for her in her final struggle. We acknowledge the faith the Indian government and the patient's family have placed with us to ensure the best care possible was indeed provided to her at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.”
“We share their huge sadness at her passing and will work with the High Commission of India to provide the family support in this time of grief,” said Dr Loh.
Late last night, the hospital said the condition of the rape victim had taken a “turn for the worse”.
“As of 9pm (6:30pm IST), the patient’s condition has taken a turn for the worse. Her vital signs are deteriorating with signs of severe organ failure,” Loh had said in a statement.
“This is despite doctors fighting for her life including putting her on maximum artificial ventilation support, optimal antibiotic doses as well as stimulants which maximise her body's capability to fight infections,” the CEO had said.
During her treatment in Safdarjung Hospital, the girl’s condition had recorded several ups and downs. Three days after the attack, her gangrenous intestine was removed.
The beastial attack on the girl and her male friend in the bus had sparked off protests by students and women activists which took a violent turn in the capital last Saturday and Sunday.
Death for rapists was one of the demands of the protesters and the victim's demise could trigger fresh display of emotions on the streets.
One of the Delhi police constables Subhash Chand Tomar died in a government hospital on Tuesday and the post-mortem report had said that he had suffered a cardiac arrest from complications arising out of injuries on his chest and neck.
Shaken by the public outrage, government constituted a commission of inquiry into the incident and also set up a three-member committee under former Supreme Court Chief Justice AS Anand to look into the possibility of rewriting the laws relating to aggravated sexual assault and enhancing penalty for it.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had Friday demanded speedy action against the perpetrators of the ‘barbarous’ attack while the prime minister said the government was committed to bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible.




4 years ago

The brave girl had suffered irreversible damage to her brain in safdarjang hospital when she had cardiac arrest. shifting her to singapore was a face saving device. :-(

Vaibhav Dhoka

4 years ago

Nation condoled the death of victim which was very unfortunate,to say for any human being.Her death has bought to light many lacuna es in our society.The cry for total system change is increasing day by day.There is need of hour in which executives bureaucracy judiciary and POLITICIAN need overhauling.Police should be free from political interference.This way crime can be reduced.Justice Verma commission should look in to causes why such incidences are more happening in Delhi.

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