Wheelchair, bike rally to raise awareness on spinal injuries

New Delhi, Sep 4 (PTI) Over 150 wheelchair users alongwith hundreds of able-bodied persons today took out a rally atthe Rajpath to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries andtheir prevention. The rally, held to mark the World Spinal Injury Daytomorrow, was flagged off by Union Science and TechnologyMinister Harsh Vardhan, who praised the effort and said thegovernment was taking measures to enhance accessibility fordisabled people. Our government is taking various measures such as the’Accessible India Campaign’ for this cause, he said. The nationwide campaign — Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan — hasbeen launched by the Department of Empowerment of Persons withDisabilities for achieving universal accessibility for personswith disabilities. International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) has decided toobserve ‘Spinal Cord Injury Day’ on September 5 every yearwith the intention of increasing awareness among people,according to World SCI Day website. "It is presumed that the awareness would facilitate aninclusive life for persons with disability and ensure greaterchances of success of prevention programmes," it said. In India, the World SCI Day will be marked tomorrow andlater this month in Delhi and several other cities, including,Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Jalandhar andCochin, as well. Spinal cord injury (SCI) and the resultant paralysis hasdevastating physical, mental, social, sexual and vocationalconsequences for the injured. As per the statistics from the US, depending on theseverity, SCI can cost an injured individual USD 334,000 to 1million in the first year after injury, the World SCI Daywebsite said. Reckless and careless driving, and ignorance about effectsof bad body postures are some of the causes for it. So,besides, hundreds of able-bodied persons, 35 motorcyclistsalso took part in the event today to raise the awareness. Many wheelchair users carried placards that read ‘Do notuse mobile phones while driving’ during the hour-long rallythat started from India Gate and ended near Raisina Hill. ISCoS is approaching world bodies including WHO, UN,UNICEF to declare September 5 as an official SCI Day. In India, the participating societies include Spinal CordSociety, Association of Spine Surgeons of India, IndianOrthopaedic Association, Indian Association of PhysicalMedicine and Rehabilitation, Indian Academy of Neurology,Asian Spinal Cord Network, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre andThe Spinal Foundation. PTI KNDZMN


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