LAGOS-The Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, Lagos, has  donated some smart canes and artificial limbs to some physically challenged persons to improve their mobility.
The exercise, which was part of the Mega Triple project day events, organised to mark the Rotary Awareness Day of the club, also saw over 200 people receiving free medical screening and check- up.
Mr Ramesh Biswal, President of the club, said“ Rotary is always in the forefront of giving back to humanity, especially when it comes to health and environment.
“Today, the Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, is organising her mega Project day which consists of Triple projects events, coupled with rotary Awareness Event and Day.
“It is also a day to honour our past president, Mr Naranbhai Patel, who was honoured by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As part of our project, we have embarked on a special project to empower the blind community by providing them with smart canes.
“This is the first time smart canes are being donated in Nigeria and we are happy to be the ones to take up this initiative toward supporting the blind community.
Biswal said “a smart cane is a battery operated cane which tends to vibrate on sensing any obstacle. It sends out ultrasonic waves that enable the user to detect obstacles without touching them.
“This technology is set to make lives better for the visually impaired as it helps the blind navigate their way without having to touch or run into obstacles.
“This device developed by the India institute of Technology, Delhi, sends out waves as the user walks on the road.
“According to the mode selected, the devices detect obstacles and vibrate according to how far they are.
“Today, we have given three as samples and pilot cases, and later we will give at 100 more. Each of these canes costs 1,000 dollars.’’
Biswal said that 25 artificial limbs were also donated to some people.
“The distribution of artificial limbs is an ongoing event. So far, we have given out a total of 50,000 artificial limbs at no cost at all.
“There is a general free health check-up with over 200 people benefiting from it, though we had expected about 500 people.
‘We have four doctors here (three Nigerians and one Indian), with other paramedics to attend to diverse complaints.
“We also have pharmacists to dispense the drugs which have been donated by our partnering agencies and companies. This free medical screening by the club comes up every other month,’’ Biswal said.
Mrs Nike Abdul-Azeez, who represented Mr Bamidele Balogun, District Governor, Rotary International District 9110 Nigeria, said: “This club has exhibited the true spirit of a being Rotarians.
“I would encourage people to always know their health status by going for regular check-ups. To our physically challenged people, I encourage them to rise above their challenges and explore their potential,’’ she said.
Mr Opeoluwa Akinola, Chairman of the Nigeria Association of the Blind, Lagos State Chapter, said:“ We are glad that this Rotary Club is donating some smart canes to some of our members.
“We appreciate their gesture, especially as these canes are special. They are not like the regular white canes.
“ I enjoin them to bring more of these canes as well as call on other organisations and the government to extend same gesture to the visually impaired persons in our country,’’ he said.