Sunday March 24, 2019

Designed by a 19 year old Patna Girl, Adjustable Walker is a boon for Disabled and Elderly

Sahlini, a teenage girl innovates a walker with flexible legs to facilitate walking in uneven surfaces

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A disabled Person (representative image), Pixabay

New Delhi, Mar 17, 2017: Special modified walker having adjustable legs designed by a 19 year old girl to help the differently-abled and elderly to climb up and down stairs.

A resident of patna, Shalini Patwari who designed the walker is one of the 14 persons- who are currently living at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for a two-week in-residence programme as guests of the President. The team includes artists, innovators and writers.

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Shalini told the PTI that the idea struck her when she saw her grandfather struggle with the walker while climbing stairs. The traditional walkers are not suitable for walking on uneven surfaces.

“It is really difficult and sometimes impossible for the elderly, differently-abled persons or those recuperating from lower limb problems to climb up or down the stairs using conventional four-leg walkers,” she said.

Shalini noted through observations that the four-legged walkers were not flexible and failed to provide support while climbing stairs, so making them flexible was the key.

“My grandfather enjoyed walking on the terrace, but found it difficult to walk up the stairs. It was then I decided to prepare a modified walker with adjustable legs,” Shalini said.

Shalini sent her proposal to make modified adjustable walkers to the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology set up to provide institutional support to innovators, and her idea was appreciated by officials who assured her all possible help in making her dream project a reality.

With the help of the NIF, the walker was finally prepared with self locking, spring loaded front legs Shalini said. For her innovation, Shalini has won a number of awards including the IGNITE award of the NIF.

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The modified walker, costing nearly Rs 3000, has an innovative self-locking mechanism which enables the front legs to be raised while climbing up stairs, and to be lowered while climbing down.

“It is very stable, light weight, adjustable to all sizes of stairs and can also be used while walking on inclined surface. This walker is useful for children, elderly people and specially abled persons,” she said.

The walker has been designed ergonomically and weighs four kilograms. The walker is suitable for use by anyone, irrespective of the person’s weight and height.

Shalini said that a number of companies had shown interest in her innovation and she hopes it will be soon available in the markets.

The participants of the In-Residence Programme said they were deeply thankful to the President as they got an opportunity to interact with prominent people, including ministers.

“It has been an amazing experience living here at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. I met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday with the group. I feel encouraged and motivated after meeting him,” she said.

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The group includes artists Dheeraj Yadav and Rahul Shailendra Kokate, writers Dr Ashokkumar P Chavda and Prabal Kumar Basu, and innovators Surjeet Singh, Moa Subong, Girish Badragond, Mansukhabhai Prajapati, Subhash Ola, Paresh Panchal, Santosh Pachar, Ajay Kumar Sharma, Shalini Kumari and Akash Manoj.

They said that they were infused with fresh energy and enthusiasm after meeting the President and were determined to contribute to the welfare of the society in their own way.

– prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

Next Story

Having a Handful of Nuts Everyday Can Boost Memory in Elderly, Says Study

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with dementia globally is at 47 million

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Representational image. Pixabay

While age is known as the strongest risk factor for cognitive decline, eating a handful of nuts every day can improve mental health and memory skills by up to 60 per cent, finds a study.

The findings showed that consuming nuts for a long period of time could be the key to better cognitive health, including improved thinking, reasoning and memory in older people.

“By eating more than 10 grams (or two teaspoons) of nuts per day older people could improve their cognitive function by up to 60 per cent — compared to those not eating nuts — effectively warding off what would normally be experienced as a natural two-year cognition decline,” said lead researcher Ming Li from the University of South Australia.

The reason could be because peanuts have specific anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that help reduce cognitive decline including dementia.

Nuts are also known to be high in healthy fats, protein and fibre with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol and improve cognitive health.

The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, included 4,822 Chinese adults aged 55 and above.

Almonds and other nuts can improve survival of patients suffering from colon cancer as well.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with dementia globally is at 47 million.

By 2030, this is projected to rise to 75 million and by 2050, global dementia cases are estimated to almost triple.

“Population ageing is one of the most substantial challenges of the twenty first century,” Li said.

“Not only are people living longer…they naturally experience changes to conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed.

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“While there is no cure for age-related cognition decline and neurogenerative disease, variations in what people eat are delivering improvements for older people.

“If we can find ways to help older people retain their cognitive health and independence for longer – even by modifying their diet – then this is absolutely worth the effort,” Li suggested. (IANS)