India still lack behind in developing infrastructure which would suit the needs of physically disabled people. According to 2011 census, India has 2.21 per cent physically disabled population. Keeping this in mind, an IIT student, Lavendra Shukla has taken a step forward to make transportation more accessible for the disabled people. Lavendra has designed a wheelchair for physically challenged people by considering the special needs of the Indian population. This wheelchair will be then used for designing a school bus for physically challenged students in Sandnya Samwardhan Sanstha in Nagpur.
Lavendra has considered the special needs of Cerebral Palsy patients. It would facilitate the process of moving a physically challenged person from one place to another with the help of attendee or by means of self-propelling. “India is not the disable friendly country compared to other developed nations. Almost half of the physically challenged people live in rural areas. A wheelchair is one of the most important tools that help increase accessibility for them. But the current designs of wheelchairs are not according to Indian needs. We have to keep in mind the economic condition of the people as well. So the wheelchairs have to be portable, lightweight and affordable,” said Lavendra.
Special characteristics of this wheelchair
The wheelchair has been designed to fulfil the requirements of foldability with minimum effort and less maintenance.
After folding it will occupy less space in comparison with a regular wheelchair.
It has adjustable footplate arms with the footrest according to the patient’s requirements.
The number of steps for folding the wheelchair has been also reduced in order to save parents/attendants/and escorting members’ time.
This wheelchair has an incorporated cavity underneath the seat pan for the ease of patient and escorting member while accessing the toilet. All it will take is to remove the seat pan and backrest
The wheelchair will be used for the special bus for the students with multiple disabilities and who cannot use a wheelchair by themselves. The bus will be operational for Kalpataru special school run by Sandnya Sanvardhan Sanstha in Nagpur. “The information is correct. We are in the process of building a wheelchair accessible bus for our special students and these wheelchairs are meant for this bus,” said Navin Deshpande, Secretary Sandnya Sanvardhan Sanstha.