The event witnessed participation of over 200 wheelchair users, 1500 able-bodied citizens increasing awareness on spinal cord injury and prevention
The Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), a spine, orthopaedic, neuromuscular surgical centre organised a wheelchair rally at India Gate recently. The event was flagged off by Chief Guest, Smriti Irani, Union Minister for Textiles and Minister of Women and Child Development in the presence of Major HPS Ahluwalia, Chairman, ISIC, Dr AK Mukherjee, Director General, ISIC and Dr HS Chhabra, Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC.
The event witnessed participation of over 200 wheelchair users and 1500 able-bodied citizens, thereby increasing awareness on spinal cord injury and prevention, as well as rehabilitating affected people in mainstream life to create an inclusive society.
Speaking on the event Irani said, “Today is a day full of hope as it was announced that Vikram is on the moon – instilling faith that there is much to look forward to in life even for the people facing disabilities. There is no dearth of trying as the SCI army move from Rajpath to Vijaypath on the course similar to our brave soldiers. I would like to highlight two things: the rampant prevalence of road accident related spinal cord injury and osteoporosis amongst youth and women respectively. I urge and entreat everyone to abide by two things- youth should pay stringent attention to the road rules, while preventing cause of spinal injury. As for women, a better look towards their diet would prevent the occurrence of osteoporosis in later years.”
“ISIC is proud to become an organiser of the 4th World SCI Day, in association with ISCoS. Such events are a reminder of how people with disability have capabilities and talent hidden from plain sight. 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 Major Ahluwalia, a SCI survivor himself after being injured in the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
Organised in support of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Day on September 5 every year, in association with International Spinal Cord Society, the event was an advocacy drive to support an inclusive life for persons with disabilities in keeping with this year’s theme of ‘Living Life to the Fullest’.
“As an inseparable extension of the brain, an injury to the spine can render a person, temporarily or permanently, partially or completely paralysed. In many cases, the cause of the injury is preventable. Very often these injuries are not managed comprehensively. 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. This year’s theme is applicable to the able-bodied as well. Few people really live life to the fullest. We get stuck in daily routines and seldom try to introspect and explore ourselves. Sometimes a major event in life makes us do so. Why wait for that moment to wake up? Why not explore now how to live life to the fullest?” said Dr Chhabra.
Apart from the wheelchair rally, other sporting and cultural events of the day included dance, yoga and human pyramid for which wheelchair-bound and able-bodied participants collaborated. A few members of the Indian team of wheelchair cricket also participated in the event and cheered the cultural fiesta.