File photo: Marcel Oosterwijk,
File photo: Marcel Oosterwijk,

Free healthcare, education for disabled

By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published Mar 5, 2016

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An Indian philanthropist will soon extend his benevolence to thousands of South African people living with disabilities by providing free healthcare and education.

Shree Kanubhai Tailor, a renowned philanthropist and disabled people’s activist, was in the country this week to begin talks with the High Commission of India in Pretoria about starting his initiative to benefit disabled minorities.

Tailor, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, said in its initial stage, the initiative would see about 1 000 South Africans living with disabilities flown to India within 12 months on all-expenses paid trips, where they would be given all the necessary medical and healthcare assistance they require, ranging from operations, prosthetics and wheelchairs - all this would be free of charge.

Tailor said the overall, long-term objective was to establish institutions that catered for the disabled free of charge here in South Africa. “I would like to establish a solid infrastructure for disabled people in this country who cannot afford healthcare and education. I want to export my successful Indian model to South Africa to help these most vulnerable individuals,” Tailor said.

According to StatsSA’s 2014 “Profile of persons with disabilities in South Africa Report”, South Africa has 2.9 million people living with disabilities.

Asked if they would welcome such an initiative, the Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA) organisation commended Tailor and said it would be “willing to work with him” once his initiative was up and running.

Wilfred Herman, national learnership and international co-ordinator of DPSA, said though they were not fully aware of the details of the initiative; they were looking forward to hearing more about what Tailor had to offer.

Tailor has assisted more than 13 000 disabled people.

Pretoria News Weekend

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