Celia Gananpushpam, is a 58 year old lady with a 15 year history of Type 2 Diabetes. Thrice a week she needs dialysis. After stepping on on a piece of glass accidentally, doctors amputated her leg to save her life. This made her entirely dependent on her family for any kind of mobility. Her tears of joy, when she received a wheel chair and for the first time in a year could move around independently, will stay with us for a long time.
Hearts on Wheels is a nonprofit initiative to make basic mobility accessible to anyone who cannot afford a wheelchair.
As part of the widely acclaimed CME initiative, Let’s Talk TAVI, The India Heart Foundation embarked upon a community outreach program, Hearts on Wheels. This program aims to deliver independence and hope to the physically challenged.
As per the last Census, 54 lakh people in India have movement related disabilities. Given the poverty distribution in India, only between 1.5% to 3% of this number have access to wheelchairs. Compounding the problem is India’s population of people afflicted by diabetes. With limited access to timely hospitalisation, unattended leg injuries lead to amputations, rendering many immobile. Given the staggering number of people whose mobility and quality of life can be significantly improved with access to a wheelchair, we have pledged to reach out to as many of them as possible.
Sponsorships and proceeds from the Let’s Talk TAVI seminars go towards donating wheelchairs. Our on ground volunteers identify people impaired by health conditions that affect mobility and deliver wheelchairs to those who need it the most. The deep impact of the first few wheelchairs donated has kept this initiative going strong.
Ezra, was a driver by profession. Now 55 years old, he has been battling high blood sugar for most of his adult life. In 2016 he lost two fingers as a side effect of this. The sole bread winner in his family, he had to undergo a leg amputation in 2017. As a result of the amputation, he lost his job and his family had to turn to their oldest child to earn a living. The loss of movement caused him to isolate himself because he did not want to depend on his family to help him get around. Access to a wheelchair he says, has been the single most life changing event, post his amputation.
Prema, aged 63, is the primary caregiver of her husband who is a heart patient. Due to kidney failure, she lost her ability to walk. Repeated procedures and treatments caused the deterioration of her mental and physical health. Her inability to move worsened her condition and she turned despondent. In being able to get around because of a wheelchair, she has slowly recovered some hope and is on the path to claiming greater control over her life.
Samuel, aged 50, lost his right leg to diabetes. Subsequently he had a heart attack. Being immobile placed a great strain on his family both financially and from a caregiving point of view. On insulin and cardiac medicines for life, he cannot afford a wheelchair. Receiving one has given him the ability to get around without dependency and regain both strength and confidence
Subashree, aged 38 year was afflicted by polio when she was 9 months old. Entirely reliant on a wheelchair since the age of 12, she even manages to run errands and shop for groceries independently. Worn and broken, her old wheelchair needed to be replaced but her family couldn’t afford a new one. Receiving a new wheelchair has been a both a source of great relief and joy for her and her family.
Adithi is an orphan who suffers from depression. Due a fall she lost the ability to walk. Her wheelchair was threadbare and she was using plastic wrappers to pad it. Her smile on her face when sat on her new wheelchair was one we’ll never forget.
As per the last Census, 54 lakh people in India have movement related disabilities. Given the poverty distribution in India, only between 1.5% to 3% of this number have access to Wheelchairs
A typical wheelchair costs 5,000 Rupees. Special needs wheelchairs cost anywhere from 15,000 Rupees onwards. The foundation provides wheel chairs depending upon the specific needs of the recipient.
You can sponsor part of the cost towards buying a wheelchair or sponsor one or more chairs.
You will receive a personalized note of gratitude and appreciation with a colour photograph of the wheelchair recipient, the person whose quality of life is greatly improved by your gift.
Designed with sturdy wheels, durable tires, front casters, sealed bearings and nylon seating these wheelchairs are the best possible solution for most conditions.
With a staggering number of 95-97% of India’s 54 lakh disabled people unable to access wheelchairs, we have our task cut out for us. While we do not aim to reach everybody, we aim to reduce this percentage as greatly as we can and significantly improve the quality of life of as many people as possible.
Donate/Contribute as much as you can
Get the word out. Tell your friends about us. Ask people to consider contributions during festivals and special occasions in their lives
Have a fundraiser. Host a lunch/dinner at your home and tell people about us
Find and follow us on social media, share our stories, handles, milestones and be our champions in the world at large