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Ganga Spine Injury Research Centre

RASTRA – Rotary Aid for Spinal Treatment and Rehabilitation, is a combined project of Rotary club Saicity and Ganga hospital for patients with spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury causes complete or incomplete paralysis of all function in the limbs below the level of injury. Rehabilitation is the only hope to provide them with new skills to cope with their disability. The vast majority of spinal cord injury patients are from a low socio-economic background and more than 80% of them are males below the age of 40 who are the breadwinners of the family. Vocational training is essential to get them back to new or previous work. Under RASTRA, patients undergo a structured rehabilitation program and vocational training over a period of 2 months to gain confidence and the skills needed for independent living. With the help of vocational trainers, they are taught new skills like drawing, painting, tailoring, computers, electronic repairs, front desk assistant etc. This project will bear all the costs for his rehabilitation and vocational training during his stay at the Ganga Hospital. He/she will be provided with the necessary callipers, exercise equipment, wheelchairs and other aids on discharge. The cost is estimated to be about 1 lakh per person with subsidized cost and treatment from the hospital. This program was formally inaugurated on the 20th of October 2012. We have completed 13 patients under this program. The vocational training for these patients was provided at the Avinashilingam Jan Shikshan Sansthan and 1 patient was trained at the Siva industries, Kalapatty. There is also a tailoring teacher who visits the hospital daily and teaches tailoring for some of the patients under this program. The patient's relatives or caretakers also receive vocational training where possible. All patients received a wheelchair; calliper and 3 of them were also given tailoring machines. The Worley painting done by patients have been sold at various occasions and gifted to eminent people like Mr.Rakesh Sharma-Astronaut [the first Indian to travel in space], Mr.Narain Karthikeyan-India's formula one driver and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Several awareness champions have also been initiated through this program. Anyone who is below a poverty line and sustains a spinal cord injury will be considered under this program. We have strict criteria to enrol patients into the program. We are not restricted to the time of initial injury, where the primary treatment was performed or which state in India they come from. We hope to help more patients under the program in the future. For more details, you can contact Mr.Vivek Vijayan, Social Welfare Officer at +91 9344353946