@ Vikash Sharma | Sr Journalist
Noida: Over 100 wheelchair users and around 500 participants today took part in the Wheelchair Sports and Cultural Program held to commemorate Spinal Cord Injury Day as part of the ongoing National Injury Prevention week (September 1-7) at Noida Indoor Stadium here. The third edition of National Injury Prevention Week is being observed under the aegis of the Directorate of General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.
Spine care experts and 14 national spine care societies from across the country have come together to observe the week by organizing various events including outdoor activities, cultural programs, and panel discussions.
The event was attended by dignitaries including Ms. Deepa Malik, President of the Paralympic Committee of India, BJP leader and Noida MLA Mr. Pankaj Singh, and Dr. Lokesh M, CEO Noida and Mr. Raj Kumar Gupta, President, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.
Over 100 wheelchair users engaged in games like Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Football, Rugby, Wheelchair Race, and Wheelchair Hurdles. Another 500 participants also joined in at the indoor stadium in Sector 21, Noida. While wheelchair sports activities were held from 2-4 PM, the cultural event took place from 4.30 to 6.00 in the evening. The colorful event included high-energy cultural dance performances and wheelchair stunts by professionals that mesmerized the audience. While the whole event took place in physical mode, it was live or organized virtually in other cities including Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cuttack, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Patna, and Bhopal.
“’An injury-free India’ is the essence behind the observation of Injury Prevention Week in India. Injury Prevention Week, observed under the aegis of the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, is now in its 3rd year. I am pleased that 14 professional, nonmedical, and consumer organizations have joined hands with the Directorate to observe this ‘Injury Prevention Week’. Various programs are being organized across the country with the sole intention of increasing awareness about safety measures for preventing injuries among our citizens. The Directorate sincerely wishes success in these efforts meant for this noble cause and assures our complete cooperation in the matter,” Prof. (Dr.) Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, said in an official statement.
Dr. Harvinder Singh Chhabra, Chief of the Spine and Rehabilitation Centre at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, President Spinal Cord Society, Chairman Spine Wellness & Care Foundation and the official coordinator for Injury Prevention week as well as SCI Day events said, “The healthcare costs are already increasing, so injury prevention is a crucial need. In the Injury Prevention Workshop held in 2018 under the aegis of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) 8 national and 7 international societies brainstormed on various prevention measures and came to a consensus on recommendations which were presented to the DGHS. In this year’s Injury Prevention Week, we would like to give a message that how preventing injuries can benefit the economy as well as put less burden on healthcare, besides improving the quality of life of individuals. Through the wheelchair sports and dance activities today we also wanted to spread the message that able bodied should take a cue from innumerable examples of persons on wheelchair who not only overcome the challenge posed by their disability using the power of the mind, their special abilities and staying positive, but also come out stronger and more successful achieving great goals.”
According to a report, a total of 16,397 persons were killed in road accidents in 2021 due to not wearing seat belts, of which 8,438 were drivers and the remaining 7,959 were passengers, according to a report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
The seven-day event began on September 1 with a webinar on the topic “Power of Mind” in online mode from 7-8 pm, in the presence of Ms. Preeti Srinivasan, an IIT Madras alumni and tetraplegic whose struggle and achievement are inspirational. On Day 2, an online Poster Competition “Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries” and a Slogan competition “Yes we can” were held.
September 4 will have a panel discussion on “Strategies to overcome the challenges in management of Spinal Cord Injury” in online mode. On September 5, SCI Day will be observed in hybrid mode at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute which will include a talk on awareness of SCI, inclusive dance, nukkad natak (street play) and wheelchair activities. There will also be a health checkup and vocational rehabilitation camp for persons with spinal cord injury.
The last two days’ activities will include an online panel discussion on “Injury Prevention” on September 6 and online audio-visual session on prevention of spinal cord injuries on September 7.