A Hand for Razia

Razia is writing a letter to her mother with her new prosthetic hand

Razia is a poor slum girl whose mother collects old news papers from door to door and sells them for a living. About seven years ago while playing in the street, Razia discovered a small little box of ‘Jorda’ (chewing tobacco) wrapped in red tape. She picked it up and tried to open it out of curiosity and guess what…. it exploded on her hand. That was actually a hand made bomb left by some thugs. Razia survived, but not without a cost. She lost her right hand up to wrist. After coming to know about this sad accident, Professor Dr. Rabbani, present chairman of Dept. of Biomedical physics & technology, came up with an idea to make a low cost prosthetic hand for her. After a couple of year’s research finally a prosthetic hand has been made from a mannequin hand and handed over to Razia on 19th August, 2012 , the day before this year’s Ramadan Eid. That was indeed an Eid gift for her.

The thumb of the mannequin hand was cut out and refixed through a spring mechanism so that the thumb always keeps closed on the forefinger and the middle finger. Thus it can hold many things if slipped between these fingers. Now Razia even can write with her prosthetic hand by slipping a pen in between the fingers, which she can do with the other hand, bringing a great change in her life. Hopefully she will be able to hold a corner of her dress, a paper, or type on a keyboard in conjunction with the other hand to make her more self-dependent. It will be up to her to find out what else she can do with this simple gadget.

Although many sophisticated hands have been developed by people all over the world, this simple mannequin hand with spring action seems to be a very cost effective solution, and particularly suitable for people with low income around the world.

To know more details about the prosthetic hand and different stages of its development you may want to watch the youtube video here.