Sundargarh: When he was a Class VII student, he met with a train accident and had his right leg amputated. All his dreams were shattered. He never thought of being able to stand on his legs once again.
But the miracle has happened after 24 long years. Now he is no longer dependent on crutches because he is presently walking like a normal human being with the help of a prosthetic leg.
Meet Joseph Tirkey, a resident of Mahulamunda village in Sambalpur district. For him being able to walk again, he has the district administration and the Advanced Rehabilitation Centre to thank for.
Remembering the fateful day in 1996, he says he was coming from Sambalpur to Rourkela in a train. While alighting from the train, his foot accidentally slipped and he met with an accident. Later, his right leg had to be amputated. The incident shattered his dreams forcing him to depend on crutches for the rest of his life. His study was discontinued.
One day, like manna from heaven, an ANM met him and asked him to visit the Advanced Rehabilitation Centre on Sundargarh district headquarters hospital (DHH) campus where prosthetic limbs are provided to persons like him free of cost.
Joseph along with his father visited the centre, deposited all required documents and gave measurements for the prosthetic leg.
Recently he received the artificial leg as well as training to use it properly. He says life can be started afresh at any stage and as of now, he is making up his mind to do something.
Speaking about the steps the district administration is taking to provide such prosthetic limbs to persons with disability, Sundargarh collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan said the Advanced Rehabilitation Centre has brought new hope for physically challenged persons of western Odisha. We have taken steps so as to provide maximum benefits to the targeted beneficiaries.
Letters have been sent to Rourkela Municipal Corporation, executive officers of municipalities and block development officers to prepare a list of beneficiaries. On basis of their lists, in coming days, the beneficiaries will be treated at the centre and provided with prosthetic limbs, he added.
Similarly, district social security officer, Ashok Kumar Bisi said the collector has instructed to widen the service of the centre. For this, block-level coordination committees have been formed to identify beneficiaries. Once a list is prepared, they will be treated and provided with prosthetic limbs in phases, Bisi informed.
“At the centre, patients are receiving free physiotherapy service which is proving helpful for patients who have suffered brain stroke, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries. Persons with physical disabilities, ration card holders, BPL card holders and people having an annual income below Rs 2.4lakh are receiving free prosthetic limbs,” the social security officer said.
The Advanced Rehabilitation Centre’s main objective is to provide free robotics physiotherapy and prosthetic limbs to persons with physical disabilities of Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Deogarh and Kalahandi.
The beneficiaries of the districts except Sundargarh can apply through their block social security officers to avail of the services. The district administration has requested persons willing to avail the services and prosthetic limbs to contact the centre on its mobile number (7327815125) or Sundargarh district helpline number (011-41182138).