A Chennai-based rights group has urged the government to issue lightweight calipers developed by former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam on the eve of his birthday on October 15.
A caliper is an orthotic assistive device prescribed by orthopedic doctors and worn by persons affected with poliomyelitis resulting in paralysis of the limbs, both upper and lower.
Though they are worn for therapeutic value, calipers are generally heavy in weight, can be painful for the person wearing it and also limit their day-to-day activities.
Dr Kalam had developed a lightweight caliper which only weighed one-tenth the weight of a normal caliper, December 3 Movement said in a statement.
The use of this technology has the potential to make the lives of persons with disabilities easier.
However, neither the state governments nor the Centre has adopted the specific scientific technique behind the lightweight calipers.
The statement mentions that artificial limb manufacturing company under the ministry of social justices and empowerment situated at Nagpur (Maharashtra) produces heavyweight caliper alone, according to the latter's website.
Since India is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, "it becomes the obligation of the Indian government to provide reasonable accommodation by using scientific advancements to overcome natural impediments inflicted by natural circumstances."
People with Disabilities Act of 1995 chapter IX section 48 also mandates all governments to promote research and sponsor scientific advancements, taking into consideration psycho-social aspects as well, the group said.