Cii News | 1 October 2012
The World Memon Organisation (WMO) in South Africa has made good on a promise to distribute wheelchairs to people with disabilities and illnesses impeding their free movement.
The Wheel Chair Campaign, initially launched in the Kwazulu-Natal province, has recently been extended to the rest of South Africa and five chairs were hand over at the Masjidul Furqaan in Houghton, on Friday, 28 September 2012.
The gesture left some of the recipients in tears as they were helped into their new set of wheels by members of the organisation.
One person was Shahidah Seedat, from Springs on the East Rand. Although she has no apparent disability, her sister, Waheedah Seedat, who is a bipolar patient and also suffers from mental retardation and psoriasis, was given a wheelchair.
“This wheelchair will be a great help for us,” she said as she fought back tears of happiness and appreciation. Along with her sickly brother, Shahida has struggled to look after her aging sister. She runs a home business, making chevro, a traditional Indian snack and has been selling that to members of her community. An elderly woman herself, the wheelchair will make a huge difference to the quality of this family’s life.
For the last 17 years, the 37-year-old Waheedah, has not been able to go a mall, visit the park or simply enjoy the mobility of other people. Now that is all set to change.
Yunus Suleman, the vice president of the WMO South Africa said, “The whole idea is to uplift disadvantaged people with health concerns. We talked to a few donors and one said he was prepared to donate up to 300 or 400 wheelchairs.”
Dr. Haroon Gutta, a WMO member, who was active in getting the recipients into their new chairs, said the entire experience had been a very emotional one for them. “It was touching, seeing that we are affording them the opportunity to be mobile. Especially for the patient that came all the way from Laudium. This is an opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”
The organisation has welcomed anybody who is medically deserving of and without the resources needed to get a wheelchair, to simply apply by emailing, firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.