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Service to Man is service to god: Ch. Malla Reddy, Minister

Rotary District 3150 organized one of the biggest prosthetic hands free distribution function at Malla Reddy University in Dulapally in the city today.

It was organized in association with Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation, USA. It is a United States legal non-profit developed manufacturing capability to build and distribute several hundred prototype LN-4 hands (LN 4 is a brand name of hand developed by Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation. It is for free distribution).

The camp was inaugurated by Shri Ch. Malla Reddy, Chairman Malla Reddy University and Minister for Labour & Employment, Govt of Telangana

Speaking on the occasion the Minister Ch. Malla Reddy said these hands are as good as your original hands. He appreciated Rotary District 3150 for their service. He thanked all the beneficiaries for giving him, his University and Rotary District 3150 to serve them. He said service to man is service to god.

Rotary District 3150 made arrangements for the import of the Prosthetic Hands from the USA and Malla Reddy University gave the venue extended logistical support, arranged breakfast, lunch and hospitality. Gauri Ashram reimbursed through and fro bus or train fares for the 730 beneficiaries to the extent of INR 5 lakh.

730 physically challenged were fitted with LN-4 Below Elbow Mechanical Functional Hands worth Rs 7crore. Nearly 150 more walked un-registered. Their numbers are noted and assured to help them in future. Each of these hands imported from the USA costs in the open market at rupees one lakh. However,

, USA, manages to manufacture them in bulk for Rs 50,000/- each.

730 were pre-registered and 150 walked in without prior registrations. There was an overwhelming response to a video made about the camp which went viral. As a result, several thousand from across India have responded. Out of which based on the eligibility 730 were shortlisted (330 more than originally what the organisation planned). Many walked in without prior registration. Organisers couldn’t accommodate them.

LN-4 Below Elbow Mechanical Functional Hands is a low-cost, light, durable, and functional prosthetic hand. It weighs just 400 grams but can hold a weight up to 4.5 kgs. It can be easily worn and removed by one hand by the physically challenged himself. It is highly useful. With the help of this artificial hand, the LN-4 Prosthetic Hands will perform the activities of daily living such as writing, holding a pen, riding a bicycle, two-wheelers such as motorcycle, scooter or car, holding a spoon and eating, polishing shoes, a mother can hold a baby to name a few informed Rotarian Mohan Kumar, LN-4 Global Ambassador

Rotarians Valmiki Hari Kishan, Project Co-Convenor & President Rotary Club of Secunderabad; Gauri, Project Chairman and Sridevi and others informed that the total project cost is Rs 7 crore. With these hands, the beneficiaries will get back their confidence in discharging their small, small daily chores. We have received an overwhelming response. Originally we were prepared for only 400, but, looking at the response we had to make elaborate arrangements for double the number. Looking at the response and need, we may organise a similar camp in near future.

LN-4 Global Ambassador, Rotarian Mohan Kumar said, the USA based Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation has been supporting Rotary International with one single promise that it would distribute them free of cost. The foundation was started by her parents in the loving memory of a girl called Ellen who died in a road accident.

This project which began in 2007 completed 15 years. In these 15 years, we have organised 200 plus similar camps. And this is one of the biggest so far. These are conducted in 82 countries. Nearly 68,000 hands were distributed free of cost. In India alone, 25000 prosthetic hands were distributed.

LN-4 prosthetic hand is most appropriate for below-elbow losses and is appropriate for all ages over the age of 8-10 years. One size device fits all recipients and functions as either the left or right hand. The hand can be attached easily with Velcro straps and is easily removed by the wearer in a few seconds. The hand will be delivered to each recipient in a zipper pouch which contains everything needed: an LN-4 hand, all straps and illustrated instructions for fitting and simple tasks, explained Rotarian Valmiki Harikishan.

The LN-4 Prosthetic Hand is non-surgical. It is a simple, low cost, durable, reliable and functional “helper's hand”. It is constructed of “coco puff” colour, injection-moulded plastic, with aluminium, brass and stainless steel metal parts. The LN-4 hand is resistant to water, heat, dirt and salt. It is easy to clean with just clear water. The hand is strong and, when correctly fit on the recipient’s arm, will support more than 4-4.5 kgs of weight. It just weighs 400-450 gms, added Rotarian Gauri.

For this device to be successful, recipients must have 14cm of the residual limb below the elbow to utilize this prosthetic device, measured from the tip of the elbow to the tip of the remaining arm to assure a strong fitting for the cuff. Additionally, there can be no remaining fingers, thumb, or wrist, as these will interfere with the cuff and are likely more useful than the LN4 hand. The arm should be flexible and fully healed with no open sores or bandages to interfere with the attachment, informed Rotarian Sridevi.

It is solely mechanical with no electronic parts. The hand operates to grasp an object by pressing the fingers of the hand with another body part or against a hard surface. The hand releases an object by pressing the wrist of the hand with another body part or against a hard object. By design, the operation of the hand is like using a simple tool, whereby merely seeing how the hand functions is to know how to operate the hand with minimal instruction needed.

The wearing of the hands is performed like putting on and taking off a sock by merely slipping the” sleeve” of the hand on and off the residual limb, and then tightening or undoing a Velcro strap that holds the sleeve in place. The wearing of the hands was designed so they may be done by the amputee themselves in about thirty seconds. They merely have to see how the sleeve is put on and taken off to be able to do it themselves.

Baby Pallavi, a 13 years old physically challenged girl who was born without a right hand received a prosthetic arm for her left hand. She brought a few paintings (portraits of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International) which she painted with her only left hand. The same paintings were auctioned, and were sold at Rs 5000/- Which were bought by Rotarians and relatives of the beneficiaries of the prosthetic arms. The proceeds were given away to an NGO.

People from ages 10 years to 70 years received prosthetic hands. The youngest was a boy of four years old from Kazipet

The beneficiaries had no bounds for happiness. It is worthy to note here that many philanthropic individuals volunteered to spread the word about the camp as stated in the short video and brought the beneficiaries to the camp at their expenses and helped them get the hand


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