Disability: The Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan (DPAB) yesterday received assistive devices worth about Nu 800,000 from a United Kingdom based charity, Physio Net.

British Honorary Consul to Bhutan, Michael Rutland on behalf of Physio Net, handed over the equipment- hospital and physiotherapy equipment, wheelchairs, mobility items and ancillary supplies to DPAB.

DPAB will distribute the equipment to the three disabled persons’ organisation – The Ability Bhutan Society (ABS), Draktsho and DPAB.

“We hope the equipment will improve the life quality of many disabled people here,” Michael Ruthland said.

DPAB executive director Sonam Wangmo said there is a list of requirements from Draktsho and ABS, according to which the required equipment will be given to them. DPAB will also give more than requested equipment to Draktsho and ABS based on need.

According to DPAB administrative officer Sonam Deki, there are about 500 disabled from Paro, Punakha, Samtse, Dagana and Thimphu who have registered with DPAB. The registration is ongoing in different dzongkhags and the number is expected to increase.

“We will call those who have registered with us and we will give the assistive devices to individuals according to their need,” said Sonam Deki. “We are still registering the physically challenged people in the country and anyone who is physically challenged but not registered with us can come and get the equipment they need and get registered.”

“The rest of the equipment which the individuals and disabled organisation does not need especially like patient lifter, crutches and walking sticks will be distributed to the hospitals in the country,” said Sonam Wangmo.

An English consultant, Harry Franks, who worked with agriculture ministry for three years, initiated the charity.

Physio Net is a UK charity which collects second hand equipment for handicapped people. It sends equipment for disabled people to countries all over the world.

The Bhutan Society of the United Kingdom bore the cost of transporting the equipment from England.

By Dechen Tshomo