External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday formally launched 'India for Humanity' initiative to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
"As part of 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi being held over the next one year, the Ministry of External Affairs has launched the 'India for Humanity' initiative in honour of his service to humanity," a press statement read.
With its focus on Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of compassion, caring and service to humanity, the initiative will feature a year-long series of artificial limb fitment camps in a number of countries spanning the globe, for which the MEA is collaborating with the renowned charitable organisation -- "Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti" (BMVSS).
Speaking on the occasion, Swaraj said, "It is in this spirit that we launch this wonderful initiative, India for Humanity. This initiative will touch the lives of thousands of people who are in need of such assistance and will span over one year covering several countries."
"These camps will be initially held in 12 countries identified through our missions with financial support of the central government. The larger aim is to provide for the physical, economic and social rehabilitation of the differently-abled around the world by helping them regain their mobility and dignity to become self-respecting and productive members of society. We stand open to extending the initiative to more countries. India for Humanity will provide that hope for the future," she added.
The External Affairs Minister further pitched for active participation from other countries to make the programme a "success."
"I invite you and your respective countries to participate in this programme and make it a success. Let us spread the message of Mahatma Gandhi through this partnership. Let us strive to make this world more inclusive for those who are less fortunate. Let us fight misery and dependency through this small step for humanity. Let us empower our brethren, not for charity, but to give them strength and hope to stand on their own feet and earn a life of dignity with their own hands," Swaraj further said.
Founded in 1975 and better known by its trademark limb 'Jaipur Foot', BMVSS is among the world's largest organisations for the fitment of artificial limbs. It has served over 1.73 million amputees till date.
The limb fitment camps, which aim to provide for the physical, economic and social rehabilitation of the differently-abled around the world by helping them regain their mobility and dignity to become self-respecting and productive members of the society, will be fully sponsored by the MEA.