MD G Narayan Rao spoke to HT. Excerpts:
What are Alimco’s objectives?
The main objective is to manufacture and supply prefabricated components of prosthetic and orthotic systems and other BIS-marked rehabilitation aids for orthopaedically, visually and hearing impaired at reasonable costs.
Another objective is to fabricate and distribute these aids across the country as Alimco is one of a major implementing agencies of Assistance for Disabled Persons (ADIP) and ADIP-SSA (Sarva Siksha Abhiyan), a scheme of the ministry of social justice and empowerment.
Can you elaborate on the organisation’s product range?
Alimco produces 355 types of quality aids and appliances. The range includes orthotic and prosthetic appliances for upper and lower extremities such as lower limb orthotic (calipers), lower limb prosthetic (artificial legs), upper limb prosthetic (artificial hands), spinal orthotic (braces for neck and back); prosthetic supplies such as socks and surgical boots, spinal braces for neck and back; rehabilitation aids like wheel chairs, crutches and tricycles among others.
It also provides special tools and equipment for fitment of orthotic and prosthetic assemblies by limb fitting centres. For visually handicapped, we produce braille slates, folding cane and braille shorthand machine. For the hearing impaired, we have pocket-type hearing aids, digital type and behind the ear hearing aids.
What are its other research and development activities?
The corporation is equipped with sophisticated machines and backed by its own research and development. It has entered into an MoU with IIIT-Allahabad for development of Adaptor Modular Active Leg (AAML-1), for improving the gait, walking pattern, and comfort of the handicapped. It is in its first phase of development stage. The company is envisaging developing new aids and appliances under the guidance of the science and technology department.
Any plans for future?
Alimco has ambitious future plans for modernisation and upgradation of its manufacturing and infrastructure facilities. A proposal has been submitted to the ministry for setting up additional production centres and dedicated production lines to widen the product range. It also includes a proposal for imparting training and research and development in the field of rehabilitation through collaboration with various institutions.
What are the ADIP and ADIP-SSA schemes?
In 1981, the ministry of social justice and empowerment introduced the ADIP scheme for purchase and fitting of aids and appliances. Those costing up to Rs. 6000 are distributed free of cost to the disabled whose monthly income is upto Rs. 6500.
To extend the benefit of this scheme and assist children with special needs to join a normal school and also to impart compulsory education, the ministry of social justice and of human resource have signed an (MoU) through the SSA. Under this scheme, Alimco conducts assessment and distribution camps for provision of aids and appliances to children with special needs.
Alimco has so far covered 51,315 beneficiaries under ADIP scheme 210,270 under ADIP-SSA scheme in the past three years.