Mr. Dilip Patro, MCA & MCom, software specialist by profession, Social Entrepreneur, PwSCI AND a wheelchair user, residing in Visakhapatnam, A.P. from 1986 and work from home with Tata Elxsi, Bangalore since 1997.
A road crash in 1997 in Mumbai resulted in a serious spinal injury & left me as a quadriplegic – paralysed waist below. I was alive, but had suffered broken bones, head injury resulting in a permanently damaged eye, a hip which had to be removed later due to heterotrophic ossification, and a c5/6 spinal cord injury.
Today, although physically challenged with less mobility, I use an active wheel chair to move about outside that helps to fulfill my aspirations in establishing myself as an independent individual and move forward in life. Passionate about providing rehabilitation aids & services to other persons with spinal cord injuries & other mobility disabilities with the training and resources I have received for myself in order to regain my own independence.
It was on that dreadful night that I had met with a gruesome crash that was later going to alter my whole life. A two wheeler driven by a drunken driver hit from back while I’m crossing the road and ran away. The impact was so high, I was thrown to the other side, unconscious and bleeding from my left ear, left me alone lying on the road without first aid in the golden hour.
I was badly injured, I was left stranded without any help for 4 dark hours. By-standers are mute spectators are unaware of emergency care to be provided and all are worried about police implication. At early dawn, I was rescued by the first responders police on duty transported to a nearby hospital. Being left unattended for many hours and mishandling while shifting from the crash spot to the ambulance, I suffered further injury to already injured spine, resulting neck down paralyzed.
Thus TAP was conceptualised for a national awareness campaign “Project 3R”:- Road Safety, Right to Emergency care & Rehabilitation for accident victims starting in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Started a not for profit organisation “The Ability People” (TAP), for the welfare of Person with Spinal Cord and Brain injuries & other orthopaedic disabilities especially road crash victims by a group of road crash victims in the year 2007. The Ability People (TAP) has developed a revolutionary concept for crash relief in India, recognised and supported by various organisations from all over the world.
With active support from RINL, L&T, HPCL, GAIL and district administration, in collaboration and technical support with national & international NGO’s provides rehab aids & services, mobility aids & appliances, awareness campaign for the last thirteen years.
Organising road safety awareness & Right to Emergency care with support from the traffic police, transport and . Weekly counselling for drunken drivers at police commission office regularly. Motivating every road users to help the road crash victims immediately after the accident. Attended various national & international seminars & conferences on disability & rehabilitation.
On seeing his hard work & achievements the Government through the district collector has provided a toll free helpline service to support crash victims and avail their services and GVMC complex premises (approx.. 4000 SFT) near to KGH (Govt. Hospital) for rehabilitation aids & services on subsidized/affordable to the poor & needy.
We are pleased to introduce The Ability People (TAP), an Indian based road safety development organisation promotes Road Safety nationally. It has taken up a task to promote Road Safety in Visakhapatnam. “Project Bhavishya”:- Protecting lives on roads for better future. It’s an efforts to make the Indian’s roads safer, It was agreed that advocacy is one area in which such initiatives have generated momentum to save lives on the Indian roads. The Idea Behind this workshop is to Bring Down the crash rate and see that People are sure that they return Home safely day after day, always and forever.
The Ability People (TAP) is a Non-Profit, Non-Government and Disable People’s Organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act, People with Disability Act and the National Trust (Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India).
An initiative is started to bring in positive changes in the life of people with disabilities mainly affected with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) which requires a comprehensive management with a holistic approach. However TAP provides all possible rehabilitation support to PWD affected with other disabling conditions & Elders”. TAP’s mission is to promote 3R’s (from prevention to rehabilitation) through Project Bhavishya on the following:–
- RoadSafety Awareness,
- Right to Emergency Care and
- Rehabilitationfor crash victims all over India.
Road Safety Awareness: The Ability People organisestrainings, Seminars and Conferences on Road safety awareness Programme for the following:
- School & College students.
- Corporates, PSU, IT, ITES and other institutions.
- Respective Govt. dept.
- Road Transport Authority, Public transport Dept., Pvt. Carriers & drivers.
- NGO’s, DPO’s, Non-Profit Organisation & Other’s Working For Road Safety.
- Weekly Drunken Driving counselling at Police Commissioner, Visakhapatnam.
2. Right to Emergency Care: The Ability People has been working closely with the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh that is spearheading the revamp of road safety laws in India.
- a. Earlier in the year 2014, we received orders from the District collector & Commissioner of Police on helping the road accident victims as well as issued instructions to all police stations and hospitals across the district of Visakhapatnam.
- b. Recently, we received orders from the Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh to give Safe passage for an ambulance while planning route for VVIP/Rally/Road Show/Religious procession. TAP ensure that the message gets to the last mile.
- c. TAP role in lobbying with the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh tirelessly for appropriate action in Andhra Pradesh on the following:
Issuing notification of guidelines: Directing to respect and protect the rights of Good Samaritans (under Good Samaritan Act Govt. of India). (clause no. 15)
World Day of Remembrance: Organising state level World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on every third Sunday of November annually in all the 13 districts
LEVEL 1 TRAUMA CARE: We do not have a Level 1 Trauma Care Centre in the entire Andhra Pradesh. Request for establishing Level I trauma care centre in VIMS, Visakhapatnam as an ideal place and adjacent to National Highway. There will be also a provision for RAPID/SHIFT transport reaching within the “Golden Hour”. At present the road traffic victims are shifted to KGH which is 10 KMS away from highway. Emergency care has been delayed due to heavy traffic and 30 minutes extra time taken for the ambulance to reach KGH for emergency care. (clause no. 18.2)
STATE SPINAL CENTRE: Allotted for State Spinal Centre (SSC) in KGH, requested to shift SSC to VIMS, as it is situated adjacent to National High Way and there is no place in KGH and also it is overcrowded. (clause no. 18.2)
- Rehabilitationfor crash victims: TAP initiated Ability Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) for crash victims (Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries (PwSCI) and Other Orthopaedic Disabilities) in collaboration with GREATER VISAKHA MUNCIPAL CORPORATION (GVMC), Government of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam, India to provide affordable/free services to the poor and needy. This center is first of its kind with operational objective of the ARC would be to provide the following services:
2. Occupational Therapy
3. Assistive Device Unit (Prosthetic & Orthotic, Callipers and artificial limbs)
4. Assistive Technology unit (Wheelchairs, Tricycles and Supportive seating, Adaptive devices, Aids and Appliances)
5. Mobility/Wheelchair Skill Training
|6. Active Rehabilitation
7. Skill Development Unit
8. Peer Counseling
9. Social Work/Community based Rehabilitation
10. Exclusive Wheelchair Service Provision
11. Wheelchair Sports & Dance.
12. In-Patient Unit (10 beds)
Recently, TAP started an extension center in Visakha Istitute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), Viakhapatnam as “ Assistive Device Center for All” –A unit of The Ability People, with the following services:
- Assistive Technology & Devices
- Rehab aids & Appliances,
- Prosthetic & Orthotic (Callipers and artificial limbs),
- Developmental Aids & Appliances for children,
- Assistive Devices for Activities of Daily Living.
- Wheelchair Service Provision
- Adaptive device for palliative care
- Seating and Positioning System
- Home & worksite modifications
- Environmental Control System
- Computer Accessibility
- Independent Driving.
- Adaptive Transportation.
- Assistive devices for sports.