HYDERABAD: Notwithstanding the severe backlash the initiative has received in the last four months, the Prisons department has gone ahead to equip a disabled person, brought from the streets, with an artificial limb. G Venkatesh, a native of Mahaboobnagar, is the first recipient of a Jaipur limb, a type of artificial prosthetic limb. Attached to his left leg, the artificial limb is to support him to walk without any assistance.
Except for running, I am able to walk and do many of the day-to-day chores without much hassles. It is of immense happiness for me,” said a jubilant Venkatesh, who lost a part of his left leg below the knee after a two-wheeler he was riding on crashed into a lorry. “The incident has surely distanced me from my wife, children, and mother. I came to Hyderabad to make a living to support my own needs,” he said. He was relocated twice from Kacheguda to the shelter home in Chanchalguda prison campus from where he was allegedly found begging by the Prisons department.
The initiative by the department was carried out along with an NGO based in the city. The need for such requirement is finalised through informal surveys carried out by members of the NGO who then co-ordinate with voluntary organisations to supply artificial limbs. “We have approached the Prisons department not just to help beggars with artificial limbs but also with other requirements,” said A Prashanth, a volunteer of Youth for Seva.
“All we are doing is to bridge the gap between the beggars and other organisations like Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), which provides free artificial limbs,” he added. Meanwhile, the officials pointed out that the initiative cannot be solely run by the department due to several constraints. “We are not equipped to do everything under ‘make Hyderabad a beggar-free city’ initiative and thus, we have opened ourselves to get support from NGOs,” said Sampath Kumar, in-charge of Anand Ashram, a shelter home for beggars.
5 beggars offered job at factory, flee
Recently, five beggars who have been sent to work on salary basis at a steel furniture facility maintained by the prisons manufacturing wing fled. At present, the total number of beggars fleeing after being given a job has risen to six.