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"Providing hope to hopeless": Young Orthotist's free support braces for specially-abled
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"Providing hope to hopeless": Young Orthotist's free support braces for specially-abled

Post by Irfan Yattoo on Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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Srinagar, Dec 13: A young Orthotist and a doctor from Kashmir runs valley’s lone prosthesis centre by making support braces for specially abled. The Orthotist indeed has become a hope for hundreds of hopeless people.
For the past several years, Dr Imtiyaz Ahmad Kanoo and his associate Wasim Wani, have been working in Hope Disability Centre in Ganderbal, set up by Kashmir-based NGO, SHE HOPE Society.
A resident of Wayil, Wasim has been one of most trained and experienced Orthotists in Kashmir and has made braces for thousands of patients at the centre.
“Till date, we have received over 4000 patients at the centre. People are coming forward to be independent and want to overcome the disability,” he said.
Wasim joined the centre in 2009 and then management of centre decided to send him to Vietnam for special training where he completed a diploma course in Orthotics.
Over the past more than seven years, Wasim has been serving the specially-abled persons in the region. “I get calls across the country, people are praising my work, sometimes they need assistance and I provide them with the same,” he said.
Wasim said till the end of his life, he wants to continue to serve people. “I am thankful to Almighty who provided me a platform to serve the people,” he said.
So far, the free-of-cost centre has treated hundreds of patients including many from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
He said community-based rehabilitation teams are on ground to verify cases, and then through mobile clinic vehicles, their measurement is done followed by other procedures.
“I work under the doctor’s orders to create custom-designed braces. Braces are often named for the body part they support. It takes hardly 6-7 days to complete the whole process of braces for a patient,” he said.
Dr Imtiyaz, who is P&O Manager at the centre, said they cater mainly to five districts of J&K that include Baramulla, Kupwara, Poonch, Rajouri and Ganderbal.
“Most of the patients are from border areas or from those areas where people have become victims of mine blasts, shelling and other such incidents,” he said.
Dr Imtiyaz said there is dire need for such services in border areas and that is why the centre is taking the lead in serving people. “Initially we organized camps through community-based rehabilitation groups who work in the field to identify patients,” he said.
The mobile clinic van of the centre has almost all the facilities and is equipped with all facilities and reaches out to patient’s doorsteps.
Dr Imtiyaz said new patients are more complicated to handle as compared to persons who are using this equipment adding new patients are counselled first.
“Counselling is the first step that we follow first as it is trauma for the entire family. Life does not stop there, if patients have the will power to overcome disability,” he said.
Dr Imtiyaz said when a patient gets support braces, they become independent and become ambassadors for the centre.
“The completion of brace depends on workload, weather conditions and other parameters. Maximum it takes 10-15 days and minimum of 7-9 days to make one brace,” Dr Imtiyaz said.
“We treat each and every case we receive. There are many amputation cases due to accident or injury or portions of the body could also be missing before birth. The families are in deep shock due to such events,” he said.
She Hope Society is having its main undertaking viz: Hope Disability Centre having its registered office at Wayil and sub-centers at Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora.
Dr Imtiyaz, who has experience of more than 20 years in this field, has completed his Orthotist training in Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (SVNIRTAR), Odisha.
“That time I was nominated by J&K Government to complete this prestigious course. After finishing the degree, I joined Composite Regional Centre, Bemina Srinagar. After that I worked for 7-8 years abroad,” he said.
“After gaining experience, I had always in my mind to serve my own people and returned back in 2009 to join CRC Bemina and then in 2019, I became part of this centre,” he said.
Dr Imtiyaz said for mass awareness, particularly in J&K there are various kinds of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy (CP), strokes, paraplegia etc.
“In these cases, we provide a support system to such patients so that they can live their lives independently,” he said.
Dr Imtiyaz advised parents of specially-abled children that early intervention must stop disability. “Today, there is treatment for almost everything but there is a need for early intervention. Parents should consult any rehabilitation centre, so that these issues could be addressed,” he said.

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