On the occasion of World 1st Spinal Cord Injury Day, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre organized a Wheel chair rally today at Rajpath, India Gate. It was flagged off by the Chief Guest, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Honorable Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, in the presence of Major HPS Ahluwalia, Chairman, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, and Dr Harvinder Singh Chhabra, SCI Day Committee Chairperson and Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.
Over 150 wheelchair users and 750 able-bodied people, along with 35 bikers participated in this rally to increase awareness that spinal cord injury is preventable and those afflicted can lead an inclusive life. Organized in support of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Day on September 5th, in association with International Spinal Cord Society, the event was an advocacy drive to support an inclusive life for persons with disability and ensure greater chances of success of prevention programs.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Honorable Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences said, “This is a wonderful initiative to show support for a worthy cause. I congratulate ISIC for taking up this serious issue. The Indian Government is taking various measures like Accessible India Campaign for the cause”.
Dr Harvinder Singh Chhabra, SCI Day Committee Chairperson, and Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, said, “Over the years, treating and helping rehabilitate men, women, even children, who have had spinal injuries has given us an intrinsic understanding of the aspects related to spinal injuries. These are not just medical-related, but also of the devastating mental, social, sexual, and vocational consequences for the injured. We hope, that with this rally, as well as other educational drives, people begin to see such injuries as better avoided through safety and precautionary methods, whether on the in schools, at home, or on the road. We are trying to make people aware that carelessness, recklessness, ignorance, or simply bad decisions should be avoided, to prevent a spinal cord injury.”
In India, the incidence of spinal injuries has been recorded as 20 per million people. The most common manner of injury is falls and accidents. In developed countries, the incidence of spinal injuries varies from 20 to 50 per million people. Spinal cord injury and the resultant paralysis has far-reaching effects on the over well-being of a person, increasing the economic and emotional burden on the person who sustains SCI and potentially his or her entire support network. SCI can cost an injured individual $334,000 to 1 million in the first year after injury. Costs in each subsequent year ranges from $41,000 to 178,000 depending on the severity of injury.
“Getting a spinal cord injury is the most devastating event in a person’s life. SCI can be prevented in many cases and various strategies are available. SCI rehabilitation outcome depends on knowledge, dedication, and cooperation. A national and international collaboration of forces can make a real difference,” said Prof J J Wyndaele, President, International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS).
In India, Spinal Cord Society (SCS) along with Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI), Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA), Indian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IAPMR), Indian Academy of Neurology (IAN), Asian Spinal Cord Network (ASCoN), Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) and The Spinal Foundation (TSF) would carry out various activities across India. The events include wheelchair rallies, road shows, symposiums and awareness campaigns in schools and colleges in various cities including, Delhi, Chennai, Chandigarh, Bhuvneshwar, Jalandhar, Hyderabad, Vizag, Manali, Ranchi, Mumbai, Banglore, Amritsar, Nagpur, Cochin, etc.