Over 150 wheelchair users along with hundreds of able-bodied persons today took out a rally at the Rajpath to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and their prevention. The rally, held to mark the World Spinal Injury Day tomorrow, was flagged off by Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, who praised the effort and said the government was taking measures to enhance accessibility for disabled people. Our government is taking various measures such as the 'Accessible India Campaign' for this cause, he said. The nationwide campaign -- Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan -- has been launched by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for achieving universal accessibility for persons with disabilities. International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) has decided to observe 'Spinal Cord Injury Day' on September 5 every year with the intention of increasing awareness among people, according to World SCI Day website. "It is presumed that the awareness would facilitate an inclusive life for persons with disability and ensure greater chances of success of prevention programmes," it said. In India, the World SCI Day will be marked tomorrow and later this month in Delhi and several other cities, including, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Jalandhar and Cochin, as well. Spinal cord injury (SCI) and the resultant paralysis has devastating physical, mental, social, sexual and vocational consequences for the injured. As per the statistics from the US, depending on the severity, SCI can cost an injured individual USD 334,000 to 1 million in the first year after injury, the World SCI Day website said. Reckless and careless driving, and ignorance about effects of bad body postures are some of the causes for it.
So, besides, hundreds of able-bodied persons, 35 motorcyclists also took part in the event today to raise the awareness. Many wheelchair users carried placards that read 'Do not use mobile phones while driving' during the hour-long rally that started from India Gate and ended near Raisina Hill. ISCoS is approaching world bodies including WHO, UN, UNICEF to declare September 5 as an official SCI Day. In India, the participating societies include Spinal Cord Society, Association of Spine Surgeons of India, Indian Orthopaedic Association, Indian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Indian Academy of Neurology, Asian Spinal Cord Network, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre and The Spinal Foundation.
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