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India to support CMAA through artificial limb initiative

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Indian Ambassador Manika Jain meets with CMAA vice president Ly Thuch. Supplied

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victims Assistance Authority on Monday announced India will provide equipment, machines and materials to produce artificial limbs for victims of mines and unexploded ordnance.

The announcement was made by CMAA vice president Ly Thuch on Facebook after meeting with Indian Ambassador Manika Jain to discuss the mine action sector at the CMAA head office in Phnom Penh.

“In the meeting, Indian Ambassador Manika Jain said the Indian government and artificial limb company Jaipur Foot will provide machinery, equipment and materials in order to produce artificial limbs to be distributed to disabled Cambodians,” Mr Thuch said, noting that at least eight staffers and technicians will participate in the initiative.

He said Ms Jain said the Indian government will cooperate with CMAA to organise an event in October to distribute artificial limbs to 600 victims in a number of provinces.

Yesterday, Mr Thuch said the event is to be held for 42 days in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat and Siem Reap.

He said people living in those provinces are prone to injuries due to the amount of UXOs that remained in the areas after the war.

“In one day, experts will provide artificial limbs to up to 20 disabled people,” Mr Thuch said. “I also requested the Indian government to help train Cambodian experts on how to produce artificial limbs.”

During the CMAA meeting, Ms Jain said to celebrate the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, her government has been organising various altruistic programmes.

“We understand that due to warfare in the past and post war landmine explosions, there are a large number of persons with disability in Cambodia who are in need of suitable artificial limbs,” she said. “Therefore, we wish to organise artificial fitment camps in Cambodia in collaboration with CMAA.”

The Kingdom is aiming to be mine-free by 2025. Last month, Cambodian Mine Action Centre director-general Heng Ratana said CMAC has met 90 percent of its quarterly demining target.

Mr Ratana said more than 80,000 people have been informed on the dangers of landmines, and that it cooperated with local authorities to resolve 1,000 requests for mine clearance.

“I thank the government, donors, local authorities and all partners for their warm support of CMAC in its efforts to fulfil humanitarian missions,” he said.

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