Disabled people to receive
free prosthetics, rehabilitation

The Indonesian Foundation for Disabled People, in cooperation with the Bali Social Agency, will distribute free prosthetics legs and other body parts, and provide rehabilitation for disabled people in Bali.

The assistance aims to provide free prosthetics to some 15,000 disabled people in Bali, Foundation chief Jaikishin Pursani said.

He said the foundation provided 967 free prosthetics appendages to disabled people in Bali this year, adding that the foundation had already provided prosthetics for disabled people in Central Java, East Java, Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara.

The foundation, which receives its funding from the Indian public, will continue to provide free prosthetics for as long as they can, he said.

"It doesn't matter how many prosthetics it takes, we'll provide them. There's no limit," Jaikishin said during the distribution of free prosthetics to around 25 disabled people in Denpasar on Monday.

The prosthetics from the foundation are made from a mixture of fiberglass and latex, weighing up to 5 kilograms. Prosthetics in Indonesia tend to be heavier because most of them are not mixed with latex. Prosthetics in Indonesia cost between Rp 4 and 5 million (US$400-500).

Disabled people who are too poor to buy prosthetics could apply for a free prosthetic by bringing a letter of recognition from their neighborhood chief to their nearest social service agency, Jaikishin said.

Bali Social Service Agency chief Anak Agung Gde Alit said the government had allocated Rp 3 billion to build a 2,200-square-meter rehabilitation center for disabled people.

"It's for the second phase of a series of funding distributed to the Social Service Agency to provide disabled people with better facilities," Alit said Wednesday.

The rehab center, which is slated to be completed by 2010, is being built near Ida Bagus Mantra Bypass road near the border of the Gianyar regency, or about 15 kilometers from Denpasar.

He said the center would include rooms for 24 people and rehabilitation equipment, adding that some facilities would be usable as early as next year.

According to data from the Bali Social Agency, there are 30,000 disabled people in Bali, with 15,000 people missing appendages.

Indonesia still lacks proper infrastructure, such as ramps and bus lifts, to facilitate disabled people.

Kadek Astawa Raharja, 8, one of the prosthetic recipients at Monday's event, said he was very happy with his new leg. He lost his right leg after a truck ran over it.

Sayu Putu Parwati, 26, who was born without a leg, concurred with Kadek.

"It feels so good having a leg,"said the mother of one.

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