V. Hari was riding his two-wheeler when a car’s tyre burst and threw him off the vehicle. He survived the fall but with a damaged left leg. His leg had to be amputated from above the knee. He was given a Jaipur foot free of cost. “It was difficult and I couldn’t walk as it made my leg sore. Once on a bus, a co-passenger saw me struggling to sit and suggested I visit Mobility India for a better option,” Mr. Hari said.
At Mobility India he was fitted with a prosthetic limb. A father of two, Mr. Hari said: “I am very satisfied. I drive an autorickshaw now. There is a lot of difference between the Jaipur foot and what I am using now,” he said.
N. Ramprakash was working in a company in Hosur. In 1999, while he was travelling to work on his two-wheeler, he was hit by a bus and in the accident he lost his right leg. Initially, he was given a wooden prosthesis that was heavy and unwieldy. But then he got Mobility India’s prosthetic limb. “It is very good. I drive a four-wheeler now,” said the Telugu-speaking man.
Both men can now bend their knees and sit normally or squeeze in to narrow spaces such as in buses.
Soikat Ghosh Moulic, clinical prosthetist and orthotist at Mobility India, said the prosthesis would cost about ₹50,000 as against ₹3 lakh for the imported ones. According to him, the engineers would continue to tweak the prosthesis based on feedback from the users. “We have been working on this in the lab setting but after IIT Madras partnered with us, we have been able to take it to the users,” he said.
Such prosthesis had been provided to 25 users till date, he said. The prosthetic limb, Kadam, which was formally launched by V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, was showcased at a function on the institute’s premises.
Sujatha Srinivasan, head of TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at the institute, said: “Functional needs, socio-economic and environmental challenges of Indian users are unique. Kadam’s user-centric design takes these into account. It meets international quality standards while being 4-5 times more affordable than comparable imported knees,” she said.
Johny Tom Varghese, State Commissioner for Persons with Disability, in his video message, said technology could bridge “the world of a differently abled person. It is phenomenal to see how technology can usher in inclusion in all walks of life. Kadam is one such innovation.”