PWDs get support from Indian group

By Denis Nsubuga

Added 5th June 2018 08:05 PM

Beneficiaries ranged from children, adult and aged patients, including a 76 year-old who needed a chair.

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Beneficiaries ranged from children, adult and aged patients, including a 76 year-old who needed a chair.

PIC: Some of the beneficiaries from the Indian Community. (Credit: Dennis Nsubuga)
KAMPALA - Lillian Walugembe is a vendor of second-class cloths in one of the downtown markets in Kampala.
In a job that requires a lot of movement, Walugembe is thrown down the gauntlet. Her movement is slowed down by her disability.
"To move just a bit like my colleagues, I need a wheel chair which I can not afford because it is expensive.
"So I crawl away, which is so difficult, given the busy environment we work in,” Walugembe says, adding that many times she has resorted to hiring people to help her in procuring merchandise. That is costly to her already struggling business.
However, Saturday, June 2 came with a sigh of relief as she received a wheelchair from Patidar Samaj, Kampala, an Indian community in Uganda.
“I am happy. This wheelchair will help me go on with my work easier than before,” she said in a sideline interview during the function where over 30 wheelchairs were given out.
The event was Shreemad Bhagwat Saptah, a holy function as part of the Purushottam Maas.
The Purushottam Maas is a month in the Hinduism belief that comes every after three years (32.5 months).
Purushottam Maas is considered inauspicious and no activities like weddings or moving into a new house are conducted.
It is a time for prayer, fasting, charity, and self-improvement. This year, it runs from May 16 to June 13.
Patidar Samaj, Kampala organised a week-long spiritual occasion. It took place at the organisation’s premises at Bombo road, Kampala. With the purpose of spreading the good message and prayer, the occasion was led by Shree Sharad Bhai Vyas, a priest from India. 

Members of the Patidar Samaj helping Murshid Buwembo to his new wheelchair on Saturday. (Credit: Dennis Nsubuga)

“The Purushottam month is a blessing from God. This year, we decide to celebrate it with a spiritual occasion, and whatever people raise as offertory, will go to the needy people,” the Chairman of Daxesh Bhai Patel of Patidar Samaj, Kampala said.
He Specified that this time, they chose to help people with disabilities, Patel said the purpose is to help those who can not afford the aids.
A total of 36 chairs were donated. 30 of the wheelchairs went to Step Foundation in Masindi. Five chairs remained in Kampala and one in Soroti.
Also, 14 walking sticks were donated.  “There are people whose condition doesn’t require wheelchairs but they need walking sticks,” Patel explained.
Beneficiaries ranged from children, adult and aged patients, including a 76 year-old who needed a chair.
The whole donation cost approximately sh20m according to Patel.
Since its inception in Uganda in 1935, the organisation has also had other charity activities. Recently, they had a free medical camp for diabetics and general body checkup in conjunction with Norvik Hospital.
 What beneficiaries say
Abdul Ssebagala said; "One who gives a PWD like me gives life. They are our legs. It helps you in movement. I can now do my work smoothly with little difficult. I thank God that I have received one today."
Murshid Buwembo said; "In our environment in downtown Kampala, it is very difficult to move. You can easily get more hurt as you crawl through the busy streets.
"But with a wheelchair, it is easy to move by yourself or easily get someone pushing you to move, unlike crawling where you can barely get someone to carry you through."
Lillian Walugembe also said wheelchairs are expensive. Our kind of work, it is difficult to get save enough money to buy one. I had one and it broke down. It has been a while without a wheel chair to move around. I am happy to get one today.

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