The 'Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Drive' Leaves Delhi for Lahore



The ‘Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Drive’ left New Delhi today for its onward journey to Lahore. It has completed 540 miles of the total journey, which is 1100 miles. The ‘Spinal Beetle’ is making its journey from Nepal through North India and Pakistan in order to raise awareness about spinal injury, raise funds for spinal injury rehabilitation in Nepal, and to promote ‘overland connectivity’ across the Subcontinent. The send-off was by Maj. HPS Ahluwalia, founder of the Indian Spinal Injuries Center. The actor Om Puri also spoke at the send-off.


The Journey: The 1973 model VW Beetle of the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (Nepal) started its journey from Kathmandu Valley on 4 November 2011. Coming down to the plains, it entered Uttar Pradesh and reached Lucknow on 5th evening. Westward, it took the National Highway-2 to Agra, getting on to the Grand Trunk Road originally regularised by Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century.


The ‘Spinal Beetle’ arrived at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) on 7 November evening. Travelling further along the Grand Trunk Road, it will pass Chandigarh and Amritsar. On 11 November, the Spinal Beetle will enter Lahore via Wagah-Atari and arrive at the Mayo Hospital. From Lahore, the car will ride the M-1 motorway to Rawalpindi / Islamabad, and end the journey at the Paraplegic Centre in Hayatabad, Peshawar on 16 November.


Why the Adventure: The sudden rise of the number of patients over the last year has forced the Spinal Centre-Nepal to raise its service from 39 beds to 51. The Spinal Centre seeks to raise USD 110,000 from the 1100 mile journey, at the ‘rate’ of USD 100 per mile from friends and supporters worldwide. At midway, the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in Delhi is 540 miles from Kathmandu. The final destination, the Paraplegic Centre in Peshawar, is at a distance of 1100 miles.


Awareness: The Spinal Beetle Rally is also an effort to raise awareness of spinal injury prevention, rescue, care and rehabilitation in the Subcontinent. In this effort, the Spinal Centre-Nepal is assisted by Indian Spinal Injuries Center-Delhi and the Paraplegic Centre-Peshawar.


‘Overland connectivity’: The organisers hope that the drive of the Spinal Beetle from Nepal through India and Pakistan will also help promote the goal of ‘overland connectivity’ across Southasian land borders so that there is high-volume people-to-people contact.


The Rallyists: The Spinal Beetle is driven by journalist and civil rights activist Kanak Mani Dixit, Founder-Chair of the Spinal Centre-Nepal. He is accompanied by Shanta Dixit, board member and educationist. It was Kanak’s trekking accident a decade ago, resulting in a broken back, which led to the establishment of the Spinal Centre-Nepal.


Done it Before: The Spinal Beetle has done the Kathmandu-Dhaka stretch twice, in 2002 and 2005, to generous response.


About the Spinal Centre Nepal: Inaugurated by Sir Edmund Hillary on April 2002, the Spinal Centre-Nepal will be ten years old in 2012. Originally catering to patients from ‘traditional accidents’ such as fall from trees and cliffsides, spinal injury victims of ‘modern-day accidents' related to construction, rock mining and traffic events are increasingly filling our wards. We offer physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, medical care, counselling and home rehabilitation. We are also involved in prevention. The Spinal Centre is run by the non-profit Spinal Injury Sangha-Nepal.


Website: Details of the ‘Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Drive’ are to be found at The site also gives information on online support and pledges.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post because it talks about spinal injury rehabilitation, with this I could have the chance to fully understand the spinal injury issue.


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