Prosthetics for Change

Changing Lives One Step at a Time

Photo of Ashita Dhadda
3 22

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

December 23, 2000

Where are you located:

USA: New Jersey: Fort Lee, (07024), Englewood (07631) | Illinois: Chicago (60634) | Florida: Miami (33155) | New York: Queens (11417)

Prosthetics for Change is making an impact in 29 countries.

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: http://www.prostheticsforchange.org
Instagram: @prostheticsforchange (http://www.instagram.com/prostheticsforchange/)

Date Started

September 10, 2015

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

This all started close to home. My cousin, who was born and raised in India with spinal muscle atrophy that left him unable to walk, once told me, “When I come to the US, life is so different. In India, the handicapped are undervalued. We are seen as second class citizens.” This is not how it should be. When he was a child, he talked to me about how other kids his age participated in sports teams and how being unable to do so left him lonely and isolated. He underwent multiple surgeries, but by the age of twenty-one the doctor said he had little time left. It was heartbreaking to see how my cousin was suffering. Seeing how his last stages of life were filled with compassion, I felt inspired to help out others in my cousin’s position. That's when I founded Prosthetics for Change, with the mission of ensuring that no person with a disability feels like a second class citizen.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Globally, there are more than one million limb amputations every year—one every 30 seconds. One prosthetic leg in the US costs an average of $10,000. A prosthetic goes beyond physical rehabilitation, it enables psychological healing. Prosthetics allow for agency and independence. Another problem is the low rate of youth involvement in humanitarian work. As the next generation, we have a responsibility and opportunity to make a positive impact.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Prosthetics for Change sponsors artificial limbs, calipers, and other appliances free of charge to the disabled. Through our parent organization, Jaipur Foot, we provide not only low-cost, high-quality, and eco-friendly prosthetics but also physical, economic, and social rehabilitation.

Prosthetics for Change aided with the development of a prosthetic that costs a mere sum of seventy dollars, widely known as the Jaipur Foot. Prosthetics for Change has maintained Jaipur Foot’s administrative cost of 3.1%, the world’s lowest rate for expenses. The Jaipur Foot is low-cost, time efficient, and suitable for a wide range of people—and yet it is just as technologically advanced as a $10,000 German prosthetic.

Prosthetics for Change has gathered a group of like-minded student volunteers to educate and inspire our peers about the importance of giving back to our communities. I am excited to continue impacting many people in the future, and in doing so, contribute to this highly engaged, forward-thinking community.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Through the front door, I see a five-year old girl walk in, struggling with her crutches. The front desk inquires about her name, age, accident, place of birth, how long it has been since she has lost her limb, and whether it is above-knee or below-knee. She is taken for fitting and measurements and taught how to use her new prosthetic effectively and safely. In a matter of hours, she can now walk, run, and even dance. Through our organization, we are able to enroll her in a school where she will learn reading, writing, and math. Her entire life is set on a new trajectory.

When students found a chapter of Prosthetics for Change at their high school, they receive mentoring and assistance in organizing fundraising ventures and community outreach to encourage others to volunteer and get involved in social causes, creating a ripple effect across their community.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Prosthetics for Change is unique not only because we are the first US subsidiary of Jaipur Foot, and because the Jaipur Foot prosthetic is uniquely advanced and affordable, but also because we are an entirely student run organization.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Prosthetics for Change is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As of today, the team has raised $10,448.03, impacting one hundred and fifty people in twenty-nine countries. With a group of forty volunteers from across Bergen County, I have been able to impact my school community and my county. I have mentored and encouraged like-minded students across the county and country to lead chapters in their high schools, thus impacting different groups of students.

For the past two years, I have collaborated with fast food chains, held school-wide events, and developed a website to solicit donations. I spoke at the Consulate General of India in New York to commend Dr. Mehta, the founder of Jaipur Foot, for his outstanding contributions to humanity. On May 15, 2018, I spoke at the United Nations: “50 Years Learnt” seminar to stress the importance of youth humanitarian involvement.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Prosthetics for Change globally sponsors artificial limbs to ensure a seamless, simple process for obtaining a prosthetic. Empowering the disabled and helping them regain their agency through accessible prosthetics is our primary mission, reaching people who wish to restore their dignity and mobility.

As the founder and executive director, ​I aspire to take our non-profit organization to the next level and establish chapters in each of the twenty-nine countries where we have sponsored artificial limbs.

“With every donation, we are one foot closer to making a difference in the world.” Throughout my journey, this quote inspired me to continue developing Prosthetics for Change and working hard to create meaningful change.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Prosthetics for Changes hopes to get the support of more schools to establish chapters and receive funding.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations over $10k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

Because one of the missions of Prosthetics for Change is to increase youth involvement in humanitarian work, there are many opportunities for collaboration with other organizations.

Reading through the other applications and learning about the work that other students my age have accomplished is truly inspiring. For instance, I would love to partner with Valerie Weisler and The Validation Project to “help young people turn their passion into positive action.” Through collaboration, we would be able to reach a wider range of students and establish chapters internationally.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine
  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • In-person event

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Recommended by others/Word of Mouth

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3 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Kania Rimu
Team

This is an amazing project and I can clearly see the passion you have! I love that you are making these needed equipment more accessible for people who need it.

Photo of Ashita Dhadda
Team

Thank you!

Photo of Kania Rimu
Team

Ashita Dhadda No problem. Keep up the amazing work!