Beauties, to the aid of the immobile | Sunday Observer

Beauties, to the aid of the immobile

The Rotary Club of Colombo West charted in 1961 broke new ground this year when they joined hands with the Miss Intercontinental contestants representing 70 countries for a worthy cause. The need for wheelchairs in Sri Lanka is staggering, and is estimated that over 300,000 people are in dire need of a wheelchair, yet, lack the resources to obtain one. Already, suffering from pain, isolation and the indignity of physical disability, many of these people must endure further burdens, and many are forced to live on the ground or wait to be carried to meet their most basic needs.

The causes are many, poverty, disease, malnutrition, armed conflict and lack of proper medical care, are all major causes. Poverty, however, is the biggest issue. Without money to seek medical attention, simple injuries, such as, broken bones that could be fixed simply in developed countries go untreated. Birth defects tend to be common and home child delivery is also frequent, which can have complications during childbirth. Factors such as, access to clean water and a steady, nutritious diet also play a role.

In this context, The Rotary Club of Colombo West has ventured into this area of need by partnering with Beauty Queens from around the world. The Club has been able to gain maximum exposure to the cause through this partnership with the Rotary Club of Suncity, Australia, supporting it with a donation of 275 wheelchairs.

President of the Rotary Club of Colombo West, Roshan Perera, International Understanding Director, Pravir Samarasinghe and PP. Rtn, Jerome Rajendram were present when the wheelchairs were donated together with cash, for a group of children and elders. The significance is, wheelchairs provide mobility, and mobility changes everything.

Mobility means independence, the ability to participate in society and earn a living. It means dignity, leaving behind the days of living on the ground.