Pune: Twenty seven-year-old army jawan Pasang Sherpa is back on the move. He had lost one leg in a landmine blast in Jammu and Kashmir last year. Now fitted with a prosthetic leg in the Army's Artificial Limb Centre (ALC), he's looking forward to resuming work.
''When I lost my leg, I was very upset. I thought my life has ended. Then I came here and met people like me," said Pasang Sherpa, Army jawan.
The Artificial Limb Centre based in Pune was initially set up to help disabled soldiers. Now it's open to civilians as well.
"Today we are using feet which have the capability of simulating a normal ankle joint very closely. People have run marathons, performed functions which even an able-bodied person will not undertake," said Brigadier M. K. Mukherjee, Commandant, Artificial Limb Centre, Pune.
The ALC over the years has grown not just in numbers but also in technology. 55,000 physically handicapped people have walked out on their own from this centre, a centre which firmly believes in its motto: No crutches, no wheelchairs.
A motto by which Rukumuddin Khan has spent nearly 40 years, he had lost his leg in the 1971 War but an artificial limb ensured he could return to work and serve till retirement.
"For three days I was in the territory, badly injured. When I learnt my leg had been amputated, I thought there is no point surviving. But then I came here and my life changed," said Rukumuddin Khan, retired Army jawan.