Friendly assistance

 

57-year-old Todarmal is now a productive man, passionate about his vocation, creating hundreds of artificial limbs. A failed suicide attempt nearly four decades ago on the railway tracks near Jaipur sheared off his legs. After some soul-searching while recuperating in hospital, Todarmal got his act together. Today, his reckless action as a 20-year-old in 1975 has led him on a journey where he labours to help the limbless be literally back on their feet.

Todarmal is passionate about his vocation, creating hundreds of artificial limbs. Himself shod in the famous Jaipur feet, his mission to help persons with disabilities has taken him across the country to the famous Jaipur foot camps organised by Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Samithi and Rotary Bangalore Peenya. “The camp is like heaven where people come with sadness and return with happiness. I feel very honoured to be a part of something like this,” says Mr. Todarmal, who is here to be a part of the 16th Jaipur Limb Camp on Infantry Road in Bangalore. “These camps are like a shrine to the physically challenged, as they provide a new lease of life and mobility to them.” “I earn Rs. 300 a day working for five hours in Jaipur and my services for the (limb) camps are free. I [work so much ] I get blisters on my hand at the camp. However, I pour hot water in the night to be able to work the next day,” he says proudly.

Just a few months away from attaining superannuation, this grandfather today is a contented man having settled down with his wife and three children in Jaipur. “Though I am only seven months away from retirement, I want to make the most of it by working consistently and serving as many people as I can.” ‘Don’t lose hope’ is his advice to those who believe they are in the dark tunnel of life: “Don’t lose hope as there is always light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to take inspiration from others and you will succeed.”

The free Jaipur Limb Camp will run from 3 to 9 January at Ganesh Bagh, Bhagwan Mahaveer Road (Infantry Road) with the aim of providing more than 2,000 crutches, callipers, LN4 prosthetic hands and wheel chairs to beneficiaries who will arrive from all parts of south India and Maharashtra. It is also providing free food and accommodation to all those who have come from far off places. It is being organised by Rotary Bangalore Peenya, in association with Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), and will be opened by S Suresh Kumar, Minister for Law, Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs.

This project is a major undertaking for the Rotary Club of Bangalore Peenya and they obtain sponsorship from many different sources, including a grant of approximately US$4,600 (depending upon the exchange rate at the time).