CHENNAI: The visitors at Express Avenue mall curiously peered down to the central atrium from the above floors. On a blue stage set up between the two lifts, four people sit on the dais. Above them, the words ‘Mukti’ is printed on the stage in bold letters. The Mukti Foundation held an awareness event at the mall to educate the public on the organisation’s work in the field of disability, on Sunday.
Started in 1986, Mukti Foundation provides artificial limbs and ciphers free of cost for amputees. Thus far, the organisation has given away three lakh limbs, all produced at their centre in Meenambakkam. They also conduct camps across the state to provide limbs to the needy.
The chief guests for the event were Letika Saran, former Director General of Police, Varadha Kutti, state president for Tamilnadu Udavakaram Association for the Welfare of the differently abled, and T Ramakrishna, director of DD News. “For those so-called able-bodied people, we also need props, if not physical, to carry on with our lives. Not only mental support, but physical support is very important for everyone, especially people with disability,” said Saran.
The chief guests provided 15 customised limbs made by the Mukti Foundation’s team of highly trained technicians to 15 people. Their centre in Meenambakkam also employs people with disability (PwDs), and offers skill training and vocational programmes for PwDs to assist them in being independent in their lives.
In his speech, Ramakrishna said, “Most buildings are inaccessible. Even the language is prejudiced against PwDs. Children with disability in villages, especially girls, live in a vegetative state, without education or employment. I look forward to the day when people with disability are accepted into society.”
Mukti’s staff members were presented awards by the chief guests for their support and assistance. The evening ended with a karaoke performance.