Gangtok: The establishment of Sikkim Viklang Sahayata Samiti (SVSS) under the leadership of Ms. Draupadi Ghimiray is a milestone towards the betterment, encouragement and inspiration for the physically handicapped people of Sikkim to live a normal life and to contribute to the development of the society, state and the nation.With the support of the Health Department and other organizations, SVSS (an independent organization) was formed by Ms. Ghimiray and her associates in 1999 for voluntary service to the handicapped.
SVSS was set up at Ranipool in a rented house. Presently, it is located at Zero Point area to continue in voluntary service. In the year 2001, SVSS got registration and started conducting workshops throughout the State at regular intervals. Scores of handicapped people obtained benefit from the workshops.
In its fully equipped workshops, SBSS provides artificial limbs and calipers to the handicapped people free of cost and conducts operation, if necessary, which is also free of cost. Ms. Ghimiray, President of SVSS, said that for operation the patients are taken to Kolkata, Delhi and Jaipur and all the expenses, including traveling, accommodation and food are borne by SVSS through sponsorships. She informed that in a workshop conducted by SVSS at BL House in 2002, more than 167 physically handicapped people from across the State were fitted with artificial hands and limbs. Hundreds of physically handicapped people from Sikkim, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Siliguri and other north eastern states have been so far fitted with artificial limbs, artificial hands and calipers free of cost in camps and workshops conducted by SVSS. Bhagwan Mahabir Viklang Sahayata Samiti in Jaipur has donated equipments to SVSS to successfully conduct the workshops, the President said. In a discussion with this correspondent she revealed, SVSS has also worked to provide employment to the physically challenged people and has given them assistance in earn their livelihood. Initially, four physically handicapped persons were given cameras and sent to villages to take photographs of other physically challenged people who cannot travel and come to towns to get photographed. This way, SVSS helped in providing door to door service to the physically challenged people, offered opportunity to four physically handicapped persons to earn their living independently and also conducted survey of physically challenged people of the State. SVSS establishment comprises six persons for making artificial limbs and calipers, two office assistance and one ambulance driver (physically challenged). The Samiti has also set up a training centre at Pache Samsing in Pakyong where training on Khada (traditional garland) making, dairy, agriculture, horticulture and other gainful occupations are are being imparted to the physically handicapped people with an objective to make them self sufficient, self reliant and self employed. To establish the training centre, one noble physically handicapped person has donated 2.5 acre land, Ms. Ghimiray informed. From January 5 this year, a micro insurance scheme under Life Insurance Corporation of India has been initiated by SVSS to provide financial support to the poor labourers of the State. SVSS has also given scholarships to four physically disabled students for their education, she said. SVSS conducts camps for diagnosis of disabilities and fitment of artificial limbs and calipers throughout the year in different places of the State. The Samiti runs with the help of annual grant in aid of Rs 70,000 from Government and donations from public, mainly the businessmen of Gangtok. “SVSS is a non profit organization which aims at providing assistance to the physically handicapped people in every aspect with best of their ability without any selfish motive”, Ms. Ghimiray emphasized.