Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Low-cost prostheses offer Indian amputees a second chance
Jaipur, India (AFP) Aug 20, 2017

Vishnu Kumar had barely reached adulthood when he lost his limbs in a freak electrical accident, seemingly condemning him to the life of penury endured by millions of amputees in India.

A year later, the 22-year-old is preparing to walk again with the aide of a "Jaipur Foot" -- a no-frills prosthetic made locally.

These prosthetics allow amputees to work in muddy fields, sit cross-legged on the floor and comfortably use Indian-style squat toilets without needing to remove the limb.

The manufacturers can churn out 50 prosthesis a day from a simple workshop in Rajasthan and, thanks to donations, fit them for free.

An estimated 10 million Indians live with some form of movement impairment according to government figures. It is common to see amputees begging at traffic stops or dragging themselves about on wheeled carts.

Kumar, who worked as an electrician, feared he would endure a similar fate after his limbs were blown off in a catastrophic accident involving a high-tension wire.

Just a fraction of those maimed in accidents have access to artificial limbs or other aides.

"I was devastated thinking I will have to spend the rest of my life on crutches," said Kumar, fighting back tears as he waited for a fitting at Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti, the charity behind the unique design.

"These limbs have given me new hope."

- Local design -

Prostheses cost thousands of dollars and take weeks to manufacture in many parts of the world, but for 50 years the creators of the "Jaipur Foot" have been making dozens of limbs a day for roughly $60 apiece.

"The technology we use is such that the limb can be made very, very quickly," said Devendra Raj Mehta, the 80-year-old founder of charity behind the 'Jaipur Foot'.

Mehta credits frugal engineering for the success of the design and its proliferation across India.

Made from durable plastic piping the limb -- available for above and below knee amputees -- requires little maintenance and can be fitted in hours.

Wearers can leave the clinic able to run, swim, climb trees and ride a bicycle, Mehta said.

A unique design allows movement in the ankle and unlike models elsewhere they can be worn without shoes -- a huge plus in a region where everyone goes barefoot in kitchens and temples or mosques.

As the prosthesis endures wear and tear, or the shape of the leg changes over time, new fittings can be arranged quickly and free of charge.

"I am getting my fourth leg and I didn't have to spend a penny. It's just like getting an all new gumboot," said 50-year-old Rajkumar Saini, who lost his leg in a road accident 13 years ago.

- New technologies -

The design has been so successful that it has found its way abroad, assisting amputees in countries from Africa and Asia to the Pacific Islands.

More than than 25,000 artificial limbs and other aides have distributed worldwide since Mehta's charity first rolled the Jaipur Foot off the assembly line in 1975.

It is now branching into more advanced technology.

One of its most successful new creations is a self-lubricating, oil-filled nylon knee replacement that can be manufactured for $20, a mere fraction of the $10,000 charged for models elsewhere in the world.

Created in collaboration with Stanford University in the US, the artificial knee is considered so cost effective it was named one of 50 best inventions in the world by Time magazine.

The advent of 3-D printing has opened new possibilities, too.

The charity has teamed up with a 24-year-old Indian engineer Prashant Gade to print inexpensive artificial hands using the revolutionary printing technology he was gifted at an MIT conference.

Funding remains a constant challenge, but Mehta was confident his thrifty operation would continue to reach those in desperate need.

"I strongly believe that even if one percent of people in this country or in the world are compassionate, we shall survive."

Mass burials begin for 400 Sierra Leone flood victims
Freetown (AFP) Aug 17, 2017
Sierra Leone buried at least 300 victims of devastating floods on Thursday, as fears grew of more mudslides and accusations of government "inaction" over deforestation and poor urban planning mounted. With the aim of clearing the overflowing central morgue, burials began around 1800 GMT in Waterloo, a nearby town where many victims of the Ebola crisis that hit the nation in 2014 were also la ... read more

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Libyan marine rescue zone aims to 'organise' NGOs: navy

Mass burials begin for 400 Sierra Leone flood victims

Urban flooding on the rise, as countryside dries up

Hunter fells elephant that killed 15 in India

Surprise discovery in the search for energy efficient information storage

Electricity and silver effective at keeping bacteria off plastics

Researchers 3-D print first truly microfluidic 'lab on a chip' devices

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice

Sediment research is a granular exercise at NRL

Meadow of dancing brittle stars shows evolution at work

Ancient ocean deoxygenation provides an urgent warning

Japan launches study into suspected Chinese coral poaching

Melting of Greenland glacier to speed up: study

Study validates East Antarctic ice sheet to remain stable even if western ice sheet melts

Scientists are recruiting Alaskans to help them track berry patches

Not all glaciers in Antarctica have been affected by climate change

Surprising two-way journey for apple on the Silk Road

Disneyland China falls a-fowl of huge turkey leg demand

Oceans possess vast, untapped potential for sustainable aquaculture

Efforts to reduce pollution from agriculture paying off slowly

Climate change shifts timing of European floods

Nearly 600 dead in S. Asia floods; SLeone toll reaches 441

Nicaragua volcano spews gas, ash

Could supervolcanoes be a part of future energy supplies

Death toll in SLeone flood disaster reaches 441

Dalai Lama cancels Botswana trip with 'exhaustion'

UN says Nigeria relations 'intact' after unauthorised raid

Nigerian forces in 'unauthorised search' of UN camp

To teach kids morals, read books with humans not animals

Research reveals how neurons communicate

New 13-million-year-old infant skull sheds light on ape ancestry

Arrival of modern humans in Southeast Asia questioned

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement