Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones/ Free Portland News October

By Keith Barnard Jones

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Something different

The calendar year is coming to an end but the Rotary year is still not even halfway through.

My thanks to all those who supported the last two Table Top Sales at the Community 2000 Hall.   Through you we were able to make larger donations to two charities, Allsorts Pre-School, and Portland Carers Support Group, than we would have done had we simply stood on a street corner and shaken cans.  We/they very much appreciate your help - for the young who are, of course, our future, and those for whom life may be a little difficult at present.  Service Above Self in action.                                                                                                                             And could I crave your help again please in November for the last Table Top Sale of 2018 which will be for the Little Dragons Pre-School.  Another group helping to ensure that our future is guaranteed.

We will not be having Table Top Sales in December or January, so the next Sale will be in February.  Details will follow when I have them all.

The Christmas Party for the Rotarians is now organised, as is the Children’s Party, a very popular, if noisy event!

The club is running a trip to Bath again and there are, as far as I know, still some seats available.  It will be on Saturday 10th. November (ideal for Christmas shopping) and will cost £15.  Please contact Janet on 822864 if you are interested.

Now, to save going on and on with a list of what we are doing, I will accede to a request to say a little more about what we do abroad, from my personal perspective, and so I start with Jaipur.

For many decades Rotarians in the UK and Ireland, and indeed from other countries too, have supported the Jaipur Foot programme. For those who have been to India, you will have noted the number of, often young, people who have lost limbs.  This is because there are many, many car accidents in that country – you only have to see some of the driving and it will not surprise you.  Of course, without a Social Services set up, there is no help available for the vast majority of these victims. Consequently many years ago, a technician devised an artificial foot and ankle, make basically of wood and rubber, which is fitted onto the end of brown drainpipe, and the other end, having been cut to the right length, is moulded over the stump of the limb.  Simple, cheap, very effective and uses materials that are easily available.

A year or two ago Judy and I went to India to represent the President of Rotary International at some Conferences, and we took an extra day or two to travel to Jaipur to see this factory/workshop.   Standing outside, we watched the amputees being helped out of buses and cars, off lorries, manhandled down from carts, hopping along on one leg, being supported by one or two other helpers and even being wheeled along in wheelbarrows. Incredible.  But what was even more incredible was the sight hat occurred about an hour or so later when all these people walked out on their newly fitted prostheses.  The apprehension on the faces of many as they arrived had been replaced by some of the broadest grins I have ever seen in my life.  Not only had they got back their dignity, but they were now able to walk to work, hold down a job and become active, helpful members of society once again.  What a transformation and a lot of this has been due to financial support from Rotarians and Rotary clubs. If you don’t believe this, look up Jaipur Foot or Jaipur Limb on the internet.  It is an incredible story and just one of the many, many stories about what we do.