Comforting Measures

Comforting Measures

On 15th August 1982, a group of socially conscious citizens from Thane got together to give shape to the Phoenix Trust, a social service organization for the rehabilitation of physically handicapped persons. Today, after twenty long years and a number of hardships, the Trust has grown into a sturdy social service organization which runs a "Rehabilitation, Occupational and Physiotherapy" centre. The centre offers treatment to the physically handicapped as well as orthopaedic patients and it primarily caters to citizens who cannot afford expensive therapy.

Equipped with modern physiotherapy equipment like Short-wave diathermy, Ultrasonic, Muscle stimulators, Tractions and Wax bath, the Phoenix trust centre is manned by visiting orthopaedic surgeons and well qualified therapists.

A cursory glance at services offered by the Phoenix Trust centre proves that it is a boon for the physically challenged people in Thane. The centre provides rehabilitative treatments to people with all types of disabilities i.e. polio-affected children, cases of cerebral palsy/hemiplegia/paraplegia, accidental cases and so on. Orthopaedic patients with problems such as spondyloisis, slip-disc and fractures are offered physiotherapy. For those in dire need, the Trust also provides appliances like walkers, crutches, wheelchairs on hire. All treatments and appliances are provided at very nominal fees.

The Trust regularly organizes check-up camps, lecture sessions and useful public exhibitions. For example, an exhibition on polio was displayed in various slums in the city and the surrounding villages. From time to time, the Trust carries out corrective surgeries on disabled persons with the help of sponsorships.

Tushar Pitale, Chairman of the Managing Committee says, "We chose the name Phoenix as it indicates the spirit behind the activities of the organization. Phoenix is the legendary bird which rises from the ashes. Phoenix Trust works to help disabled persons to rise above the problems by facing the challenges of life upfront, by braving the ignorance, indifference and even intolerance by the society."

Most members of the Trust are professionals from different spheres and offer their services free of cost. The therapists and doctors too provide their treatment on an honorary basis. The organizers of this Trust believe strongly that being blessed with the good lives themselves, they must extend some form of help to those less fortunate than them. The members of the Trust derive tremendous satisfaction from their services and want many more under-privileged citizens to benefit from the Trust.

Pitale maintains, "We believe that this sense of social commitment is the vital driving force that has kept this project running for the last 20 years."

The Phoenix Trust Centre is housed at the Red Cross Building in Thane and remains open from Mondays to Fridays between 6 p. m. and 8 p. m.

Reader’s Delight
It is believed that proliferation of the electronic media and the Internet implies the eventual death of the print media. But contrary to what many people fear, newspaper readership 5in India has in fact increased by ten percent, while the average television viewing time has come down from 85 minutes in 1999 to 82 minutes in 2002 (source: NRS 2002). This interesting piece of statistic was adequately substantiated by an interesting account related by Milind Ballal, former president of Rotary Club of Thane Mid-Town, at the opening of the "Free Newspaper Reading Stand" at the ST Bus Terminus last week.

During the function, Ballal recalled an episode that took place during the launch of a similar reading corner near Kalva Hospital a few months back. The then mayor of Thane, Ramesh Vaiti, who had been invited to inaugurate the center, was late for the function. Since the day’s newspapers had already been placed on the stand, a few citizens, who were eager to catch the latest headlines, started browsing. Slowly more people joined them and the stand was soon surrounded by people busy reading the various newspapers. When the Mayor finally arrived, the organisers had a tough time trying to clear the stand so that it could be officially thrown open. So much for the popularity of newspapers in the digital age!

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