Over the last 25 years, Mahaveer Limb Centre (MLC) of the All India Jain Youth Federation (AIJYF), Hubballi, has provided artificial limbs to over 40,000 people. Earlier, physically challenged people from North Karnataka would travel to Jaipur, Rajasthan, to receive artificial limbs. They are now getting them for free in Hubballi.
The centre has been honoured with the Swatantryada Amruta Mahotsav Rajya award 2021.
Mahendra Singhi, founder president of AIJYF MLC, said that the centre was founded in 1995 to provide free services for the rehabilitation of physically challenged people by providing artificial limbs, clutches, callipers, and tricycles.
“We used to hold health camps, blood donation drives and eye check-up camps. People did not come forward to donate at first. Dr SJ Nagalotimath, the director of KIMS Hubballi, approved space for our centre in 2000, and we have been holding free limb camps on a regular basis since then. We have already held over 200 camps in the states of Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Many people, including drivers, soldiers and labourers, who have lost a leg or a hand in train accidents, road accidents, or other tragedies, have benefitted from our centre,” he said.
Currently, the centre sees more than five patients per day ranging in the age from one to 65 years.
AIJYF also assists beneficiaries in finding work or starting a small business in order to achieve self-dependency in life.
Singhi went on to say that many people, including businessmen, politicians from all parties, officials, social organisations and commoners are pitching in to help run the centre.