There are over 40 million physically challenged persons in INDIA of which more than 2 million are paraplegics. Most of them are economically backward and have no hope for mobility, education, training or employment. Although surgery for spinal stabilization and physiotherapy are available, they are beyond the affordability of the economically weaker sections. Every year close to 20,000 people get affected by varying degrees of Spinal Cord injury. Spinal cord damage, depending upon the severity of the injury, causes a partial / complete paralysis of the body below the level of injury. These patients need urgent treatment with stabilization surgeries and intense rehabilitation along with attention to allied problems like bowel and bladder incontinence, Gastrointestinal problems, psychological disturbances, etc.
SASTRA strives to bring the Spinal Cord Injury patient and their family back into the mainstream society and help them live a respectable life by providing a holistic rehabilitation program integrating all the needs of the spinal cord injured patients to become independent and perform their daily activities on their own without burdening the family. The training given in the rehabilitation center not only enables them to perform their daily activities but also trains them in skill development which could help them in future to pursue some profession for revenue.
So far 47 patients have been rehabilitated directly funded by our club and another 55 through Global Grant No 1864494 with our international partner RCC Gold Coast Club. We have crossed the 100 beneficiaries mark and look forward for the next Global Grant to cover another 80 beneficiaries. We at Rotary clubs receive request for the financial help for doing surgery for the above patients from the families through a recommendation letter given by hospitals/organization. Based on the number of requests currently, we feel the necessity of going for a Global Grant.
The approximate costing for the rehabilitation program ranges from $650 to $900 per patient. We are planning for 80 more Spinal Cord injury patients at a proposed project cost of $ 70,000.