Pune Engineering Dropout Designs Low-Cost Prosthetic Arm For 700 People Who Lost Their Hands In Accidents

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One morning in Pune, Prashant Gade came across a seven-year-old girl who was born without both arms. Her plight hit Prashant hard, who coincidentally, was working at that time to design a robotic prototype of prosthetic arm. “Since my design was far from completion then, I offered to gift her prosthetic arms for both hands. But, a shocking reality awaited me,” he shares with Efforts For Good. The company he contacted for procuring two prosthetic arms quoted him an unbelievable price of Rs 24 lakhs, each costing Rs 12 lakhs. “A child will grow, so she must have to opt for a new pair of arms every two years. It is impossible for any person to afford it,” Prashant had regretted at that point.

Fast forward to the present, Prashant Gade is the inventor of Inali arms, India’s most affordable bionic arms to aid the differently-abled who lost their limbs. More than 700 people have availed the Inali arms and are all praises about it.

No one has ever become poor by giving
-Anne Frank

The crisis in India

Every year, more than 40,000 people lose their upper arms, but 85% of them are living without any solution. Most of them hail from the lesser privileged section – labourers who lose their arms in factory mishaps or citizens losing their hands in road accidents. Getting a prosthetic arm is a tremendously expensive affair for them, so they choose to live without it, often losing their work.

“Most of the prosthetic arms available in the Indian market are imported from Europe. But, there is no price control on these, so different doctors or agencies would quote different prices, ranging from Rs 1 lakh to more than Rs 15 lakhs. Going by the European market rate, a standard prosthetic arm would cost around 2 to 2.5 lakh rupees,” Prashant reveals the crisis in India, whose Inali arms cost not more than Rs 50,000.

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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed


Prashant quit college in his final year

For Prashant, engineering had forever been his aim. He grew up dreaming of designing innovative devices which can help bring a change to society. But Prashant Gade quit his dream course of electronic engineering in his final year. “It was a tremendous let-down for me. I would see my professors and fellow students concerned only about grades and rote-learning. I could not align myself with that attitude, depriving myself of creative thinking and practical experience. So I dropped out,” shares Prashant.

Inali Arms Prosthetic

He joined a six-month-long FAB training course, where he decided to make a robotic arm as his project. “I was inspired by Bionicohand maker Nicolas Huchet who had made a bionic arm for himself after losing his own hand in a work accident,” reveals Prashant. His encounter with the little girl without arms affected him deeply, which is when he strengthened his determination to develop a low-cost semi-bionic arm, not for profit, but solely to help the people in distress.

All you need to know about Inali arms

Prashant’s Inali arms mimic similar technology as the imported prosthetic arms, and parts of it are substituted by cost-effective alternatives. “We use different materials, mainly stainless steel for the inner machine, while silicone and polyethylene are used for giving it a more realistic outer look. To be honest, our initial prototypes were not that successful, as users complained about fitment problems and operational clumsiness. But, our latest upgraded version is made in such a way that the user can easily control his fingers by shoulder thrusts and gestures. We are working to further customise the design into a myo-prosthetic arm such that distinct finger movements can be performed, just like a normal arm,” Prashant explains.

Inali Arms Prosthetic

He named the arms after his girlfriend

He has named his invention Inali after his girlfriend, whom he admires for standing by him through thick and thin. “There was a time after I dropped out of college and my FAB course when even my own parents lost faith in me. There were a lot of struggles and obstacles. She supported me all through it,” he expresses.

Fixing the price of the Inali arms left Prashant in another fix for some time. He shares, “I met with a little boy in Mumbai who had lost both his arms in an accident. I proposed to his father to come to my lab in Jaipur and we would give him Inali arms for free. But, he straightaway declined. That’s when I realised that people doubt the viability and credibility of a product without a price tag attached to it, especially when the market rates were humongous. That’s when we fixed the price at Rs 50,000.”

Collaboration with Jaipur Foot

The Inali arms are designed my Prashant and his team at his new lab in Jaipur, in contractual collaboration with the famous non-profit Jaipur Foot. The arms have been given to patients all over India, where expert doctors perform the fitting, as mandated by governmental regulation. Prashant’s invention has been tried on and appreciated by his idol Nicholas Huchet.

Deependra Mehta, Technical Secretary of Jaipur Foot and the son of founder Padma Bhushan D R Mehta informed Efforts For Good about their work with Prashant Gade. “Prashant approached us two years ago with his initial prototype of the Inali arms. We agreed to support a determined young entrepreneur like him, and gave him rent-free lab facilities on a five-year contract basis. He supplies us with around 500 prosthetic arms every year, which is then distributed to the needy, free of cost.”

Efforts For Good take

At present, Prashant’s goal is to design a similar prosthetic leg using 3D printing and other advanced technology, alongside helping the Inali arms reach out to more people in need.

Over four decades ago, the Jaipur Foot created a sensation in India, owing to the millions of people it helped to stand up again. Prashant Gade’s invention is indeed another similar breakthrough in the technology field, where it is helping hundreds to feel independent and confident again.

For availing an Inali arm or helping an underprivileged person to get the benefit, contact Prashant Gade at 7875078907.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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