New Delhi [India], Sept.11 : Over 100 spinal injury patients and consumers rolled down wheelchairs on the majestic Rajpath this evening with the objective of spreading awareness about spinal cord injuries exhibiting their unbeatable spirit towards life.
Patients, consumers and able bodied gathered under the banner of the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), country's premier institute for spinal care, and six other national societies.
The participants were cheered by Union Minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma, who also flagged off this unique rally. India's fastest wheelchair marathoner, Shailesh Kumar Sinha, and the Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police Ajay Choudhary were guests of honour for the rally.
Also present at the rally were Major H.P.S Ahluwalia, Chairman, ISIC, Dr A K Mukherjee, Director General, ISIC and Dr.
H S Chhabra, ISCoS SCI Committee Chairperson, Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC, with other dignitaries and guests.
International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) organised the event with the objective of spreading awareness about spinal injuries and their treatment.
"This is a wonderful initiative from ISIC for supporting differently abled people. I congratulate ISIC for taking up this serious issue. The Indian Government with its Accessible India Campaign has been working towards this objective and towards the creation of an inclusive India," said Sharma.
Joint Commissioner Choudhary said, "This is a big initiative for a worthy cause, and it is inspiring to be witnessing this event.
I have been interacting with the injury survivors and their stories are really inspiring. I salute their mental toughness and enthusiasm towards life. The work done by Indian Spinal Injury Centre is indeed praiseworthy. Delhi Police is committed to support such causes and help make the national capital an inclusive state for one and all." Shailesh Kumar Sinha said, "Spinal injury is devastating mentally and physically.
To come out of extremely painful experiences and show such courage, confidence, and exuberance needs tremendous will-power.
Counselling and motivation plays as essential a role as medical and technological support for injury patients.
An encouraging positive environment is also important in keeping the morale high for the patients who go through a traumatising time post-injury.
It is great to see Indian Spinal Injury Centre is proving to be one such pillar of support for many like me." Major H.P.S Ahluwalia, Chairman, ISIC, who himself a spinal cord injured caused by a war injury in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, shared his feelings on the occasion, "After a successful event last year, we are happy to come out stronger, in larger numbers, to bring back focus on differently abled persons, especially those who have been fighting spinal cord injuries.
Being an inseparable extension of the nervous system, an injury to the spine can render a person, temporarily or permanently, at partial or complete loss of muscle function, sensation, autonomic function of a part of the body, affecting adversely the life of the victim.
It is our continued effort to spread awareness on how injuries to spine can be prevented, kinds of spinal injuries, the dos and don'ts for first responders in case an injury to spine is suspected, and curative options available that can change a survivor's life." Spinal Cord Injury Day is observed on September 5th every year.
The event provides a much needed public platform to not just raise awareness among people with spinal injuries but also advocate and sensitize masses towards achieving an inclusive life for the differently abled people.
It also provides an opportunity to ensure greater reach and success for prevention programmes. Over 100 spinal cord injury survivors assembled with their wheelchairs and marched alongside each other as well as with over 750 able bodied people, showcasing their unconquerable spirit.
Referring to the large group of participants, Dr. H S Chabbra, ISCoS SCI Committee Chairperson, Medical Director (and) Chief of Spine Services, ISIC said, "ISIC is proud to be associated with these injury survivors who have gathered here and have shown us their infinite zest for life.
Each one of them has a story to tell, a story of courage and determination." The Nukkar Natak which was performed by staff from ISIC left everyone amazed.
Through their strong performances and acting skills, these artists sent out a message that one can regain control of life with appropriate treatment and rehabilitation.
ISCoS, along with its 21 affiliated societies in various countries, promotes the highest standards of care for spinal cord injured throughout the world.
Through its medical and multi-disciplinary team of professionals, ISCoS endeavours to foster education, research and clinical excellence.
The ISCoS along with its associated societies are organizing various events in their respective countries.
Details of events are available on www.worldsciday.org. In India, Spinal Cord Society (SCS), Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI), Indian Academy of Neurology (IAN), Indian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IAPMR), Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA) (and) The Spinal Foundation have joined hands to organize events across the country.