India launches global Jaipur Foot distribution initiative
New Delhi : The External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday launched the "India for Humanity" initiative under which the Jaipur Foot artificial limb will be distributed free of cost to the needy across the world.
In collaboration with charitable organisation Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the Ministry will distribute the artificial limbs through camps that will be organised by Indian missions abroad.
The initiative is part of a series of programmes it is organising over the next one year to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Founded in 1975 and better known by its trademark limb Jaipur Foot, BMVSS is among the world's largest organisations for the fitment of artificial limbs and till date has served over 1.73 million amputees.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that these camps will be initially held in 12 countries identified through Indian missions with financial support from the Indian government.
"The larger aim is to provide for the physical, economic and social rehabilitation of the differently-abled around the world by helping them regain their mobility and dignity to become self-respecting and productive members of society," she said.
Stating that foreign policy is not merely about fostering better relations between countries, she said that "it is also about sharing what we have with others".
"It is about reaching out to people in other countries to see whether we can make a difference to their lives. It is about empowering our peoples lives."
Sushma Swaraj said that foreign policy was about coming together to collectively find solutions to problems that plague the world.
"It is important not to forget that behind every policy we make, behind every step we take and behind every initiative we launch, there is a human being at the end who will and should stand to benefit," she stated.
"Since our government took charge, we have tried to inject, inter alia a sense of caring, personal touch and compassion in our foreign policy by reaching out to stakeholders both in India and abroad, especially those who may have otherwise had difficulty to get themselves heard and their needs addressed."
In this connection Sushma Swaraj mentioned her Ministry's issuing visas to foreign nationals seeking medical treatment in India, renewing of Indian nationals' passports in other countries, and evacuation of Indians and people of other nationalities from different crisis spots in the world.
"It is in this spirit that we launch this wonderful initiative India for Humanity," Sushma Swaraj said.
"This initiative will touch the lives of thousands of people who are in need of such assistance and will span over one year covering several countries."