New York, July 15
Jaipur Foot, a prosthetic limb, has given a new hope to people everywhere and has changed lives of many around the world, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
Shringla arrived in New York on Wednesday and will participate in high-level events in the UN Security Council. He will also meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.
His visit comes as India prepares to assume the Presidency of the powerful 15-nation Security Council for the month of August.
Speaking at a welcome event organised in the city by Jaipur Foot USA and Gracious Givers Foundation USA, Shringla said every person in India is aware of the contributions that Jaipur Foot has made.
“The Jaipur Foot has given a new hope and ray of light to people everywhere,” he said.
He added that “we are proud” to work with D R Mehta, the founder of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) and Jaipur Foot.
He lauded the efforts of the organisation and Jaipur Foot USA Chairman Prem Bhandari for their contributions that have helped change the “lives of so many people in our country” and have worked with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) “to change the lives of people all over the world,” right from Vietnam, Bangladesh to Latin American countries and Sri Lanka.
In March this year, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti, while speaking at a Security Council briefing on Syria, had referred to the artificial limb fitment camp of Jaipur Foot conducted in Damascus that had benefitted over 500 Syrians.
“Our artificial limb fitment camp of the well-known ‘Jaipur Foot’ of the Jaipur-based BMVSS in India, which was conducted in Damascus, benefited over 500 Syrians affected by the conflict. We had undertaken this Jaipur Foot initiative under the rubric of ‘India For Humanity’. We certainly need humanity now more than ever on the humanitarian crisis facing Syria,” Tirumurti had said.
Bhandari said that under the ‘India for Humanity’ initiative, nearly a dozen Jaipur Foot camps have been conducted. On August 5 last year, the agreement between the MEA and BMVSS has been further extended and one camp has already been conducted in Uganda amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April this year, then Secretary (West) Vikas Swarup had said at the UNSC open debate on ‘Mine action and sustaining peace: Stronger partnerships for better delivery’ that in October 2018, the ‘India for Humanity’ initiative was launched as a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
Under this initiative, 13 artificial limb fitment camps have been held by India in 12 countries and more than 6,500 artificial limbs have been fitted, mainly in Asia and Africa. These camps were fully sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs and materialised by Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti. PTI