Disabled beggars spurn artificial limbs

Disabled beggars spurn artificial limbs

However, despite the existence of many centres providing free prosthetics to the poor and needy, there are still many persons with disability begging on the streets. 

“Disabled beggars say that their disability is their source of income. Many parents whose children have deformity are not willing for any prosthetics implants on their children as they feel they can earn through begging,” Lakshminarayana P S, Social Welfare Officer at M S Ramaiah Hospital says.

Dr Harshad Shah, orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, said two beggars on the street had turned down his offer for free prosthetics. “Disability is used to earn alms through public sympathy. Unless the government or any other organisation provide rehabilitation with an alternative source of income, beggary by the disabled is here to stay,” he added.

Free prosthetics camp

The Artificial Limb Centre at the M S Ramaiah–Rotary Hospital has implanted prosthetics since 2009 free of cost to over 7,000 persons till date. Volunteers at the centre say that even when artificial limbs are provided to the poor, they do not use them.  

Persons who have lost their limbs in an accident; diabetic patients who lost limbs due to amputation; and physical deformity and weak limbs due to polio are given suitable calipers, crutches, knee braces and shoes at the centre. Polio corrective surgeries can also be availed.

The Artificial Limb centre is conducting a camp till June 25 where screening, surgery and prosthetics can be availed free of cost. Patients will have to bring in their photo ID card along with BPL card to access the facilities. Details can be had on 40502202.

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