Over 200 wheelchair users along with citizens held a rally at the India Gate on Sunday to spread awareness on spinal cord injury and its prevention, as well as rehabilitation of affected people. The event was flagged off by Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani.
"Today is a day full of hope as it was announced that the Vikram (lander) is located at moon - instilling faith that there is much to look forward in life even for the people facing disabilities," Irani said, according to a statement by the organisers of the rally. Irani highlighted the youth should pay attention to the road rules while driving in order to prevent accident-related spinal injuries. "As for women, a better look towards their diet would prevent the occurrence of Osteoporosis in later years," she said.
The rally was organised by the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) in association with the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) to observe Spinal Cord Injury Day, which was on September 5. The event was an advocacy drive to support an inclusive life for persons with disability in keeping with this year's theme of 'Living Life to the Fullest'.
"Such events are a reminder of how people with disabilities have capabilities and talent hidden from plain sight," ISIC chairman retired Major H P S Ahluwalia said. "Our aim is to bring forth that hidden aspects of SCI survivors to boost their confidence and make able-bodied people aware of their fellow citizens." "Disability should not deter people from living a healthy and fruitful life," said Ahluwalia, an SCI survivor himself after being injured in the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
Nearly 20-40 people per 10 lakh people in India are affected by spinal injuries, mostly due to falls and road accidents, according to the statement. "As an inseparable extension of the brain, an injury to the spine can render a person, temporarily or permanently, partially or completely paralyzed. In many cases, the cause of the injury is preventable," ISCoS president H S Chhabra said.
"Year after year, we are trying to dispel the misconceptions around SCI and encourage people to get the treatment so that the survivors are not subjected to lack of self-confidence, which prevents them from leading an inclusive life," Chhabra added. PTI PLB HMB
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