A daily-wage labourer employed with the forest department who had lost his leg in an accident while patrolling in the Sunderbans eight years ago got an artificial leg attached on Monday. This noble endeavour was made a reality with the help of a city-based NGO Society for Heritage and Ecological Researches (SHER), along with the contributions of the forest department. Sanjay Shil (35) had lost his left leg when a service gun was fired by accident while he was patrolling the Dakshin Chara canal in Kathuajhuri forest under Basirhat range in 2013.
Supporting Noble Cause
"Ever since, I have been doing office work. But today, I can dream of a better life and hope that someday I can even return to fieldwork," said Shil.
Sunderbans Tiger Reserve field director Tapas Das in a Times of India report stated that Shil had been depending on a crutch and a temporary limb previously. "But this is an improved quality limb from a German firm. It will boost the morale of field workers and help them understand that the department is always by their side," he said.
In a report to the Times of India, Chief wildlife warden VK Yadav said that the new prosthetic limb would be more efficient than the previous temporary limb that Shil possessed and it would help him perform his duties to the best of his abilities.
Making A Difference
This initiative by SHER was additionally aided by the Rotary Club of Kolkata Urbana and orthopaedic surgeon Sudipta Bandyopadhyay.
"We believe, with improvement in his gait pattern and foot functions, his life will become easier, particularly while negotiating the terrain of the Sunderbans," said SHER's Joydip Kundu, adding that Shil has already taken part in three trial sessions with the artificial limb.
The German firm that had manufactured the prosthetic limb, is the same firm that procured prosthetic limbs to Oscar Pistorius, the 10th athlete to compete in both Paralympic and Olympic Games.