Dr. V.J.S. Vohra
Senior Consultant
(Prosthetics-Orthotics)
Certified by:
Rehabilitation Council of India
Hony. Prosthetic Adviser:
Govt. of Punjab
Govt. of Haryana
Chandigarh Administration
Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
 

Col. D.S Vohra


Colonel D.S. Vohra
31 Oct. 1919 - 31 Jan. 1998
Other Social Activities/Services
 
 Introduction
    Padmashri Colonel D.S. Vohra is basically an Engineer from the  Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Indian Army.  Since  there  were no facilities for the  rehabilitation  of  the disabled  persons, a team of experts from England, visited  this country,  after  World War in 1945, to assess  the  situation, especially  with  regard to the rehabilitation  of the  disabled soldiers.  Upon  their  recommendations,  he  was  selected and underwent  an extensive training course in human  anatomy, the `Ideal  Stump', manufacture and fitting of artificial  limbs and other orthopaedic  aids/appliances   and  rehabitation  of the disabled at the Queen Mary's Hospital, J.E. Hanger & Co. and Hugh  Steepers Ltd., all at ROEHAMPTON, LONDON, in 1946-47.  He also visited other similar institutions in Europe including  M/S Otto  Bock Orthopadische Industrie in Germany. He is  thus,  the first Indian to qualify in this field.

  On  return to India, he established the  Artificial  Limb Centre, POONA  on 11 Feb 1948 as its Founder-Director, under  the Ministry of Defence, Govt of India. This is the first institution of  its kind in this part of the world. Here, he was  responsible for  the  rehabilitation of thousands of disabled  soldiers  from World  War-I (1914-18), World War- (1939-45) and  Indo-Pakistan Wars  - besides the disabled soldiers from Burma and Ceylon  (Sri Lanka) and some civilian.

  To study their latest methods of production and technique, Colonel  Vohra  was again sent abroad, on a Refresher Course  in 1949-50  at the above institutions. He was graded  `OUTSTANDING'.  Besides,  he has  attended other training programmes in  foreign countries including in the USA.

   In 1973, Colonel Vohra became the Founder and his eldest son, Dr. V.J.S. Vohra as Co-Founder of Nevedac Prosthetic Centre, which was established on the outskirts of Chandigarh. One of the first innovations in this institution was the Mechanical hand that Col. Vohra designed for upper limb amputations. This was the first artificial hand of its kind in India. Being groomed by his father, Dr. V.J.S. Vohra had developed an electronic hand, which also was the first of its kind in India. This father & son team worked together for 25 years to serve the disabled patients by providing them artificial limbs at Nevedac Prosthetic Centre till the demise of Col. Vohra in 1998. Now since 1973, Dr. V.J.S. Vohra is still carrying on the noble profession of providing artificial limbs and serving the disabled persons.

   Col. D.S. Vohra had also served with distinction in the country's Armed Forces for 31 years. He was commissioned in Army in the corps of then I.E.M.E. (now E.M.E.) in the year 1944, and attached to 6 DCO Lancers. He raised No. 4 E.M.E. Centre in Kamptee (Nagpur) in record time in the year 1963, being its first Commandant.

Colonel Vohra is the first Indian to be accepted as ;

(a) A Fellow of the British Institute of Surgical  Technologists.
(b) A Fellow of the Society of Artificial Limb Fitters (Great Britain)
(c) A Fellow of the Orthotics-Prothetics Society in India (OPSI).
(d) A Member of the Orthotics Werks, Berlin (Germany)
(e) Member of the International Society for Prosthetics-Orthotics, (ISPO), Copenhagon (Denmark);
(f) Doctorate in Therapeutic Philosophy, awarded by the World University, Arizona (USA);
  Upon  sponsorship  by  the  United  States  Department  of Education   and  Rehabilitation  Services  (NIDRR),   the World Rehabilitation  Fund, New York, awarded a Fellowship  to  Colonel Vohra  for visiting various institution/universities in the USA, dealind  with  research and rehabilitation  sciences  during  Aug 1990. He also gave a talk on the Nevedac Electronic arms/hands in the Rehabilitation Centre, Northern-Western University, Chicago, USA.

 Colonel Vohra has been appointed Hony. Prosthetic  Adviser to  the;  (a) Govt of Punjab (b) Govt of Haryana (c) Govt. of Himachal Prradesh (d) The  Union Territory of Chandigarh. He was also S.T.Consultant with  the World  Health  Organisation, SEARO for assessing  the disability  and  requirements  of aids/appliances in  some of  the  Developing countries in South East Asia.

 He  was  appointed Prosthetic  Adviser  to  the  National Industrial Corporation Ltd., New Delhi, in the initial stages of planning  of  the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing  Corporation  at Kanpur  ( a Govt of India Enterprise).  He has also been on its Board of Directors when he made substantial contribution, towards streamlining  their production, quality   and administrative services.

  He was also appointed as;
(a) a Member on the  Executive and National Councils of the National Institute of Rehabilitation Training  and  research (NIRTAR)
(b) A Member on  the  Executive Council  of  Physically Handicapped Institute, New Delhi, 
(c) A Member on the  `Technical Advisory Group' (TAG) and associations for the  rehabilitation of the handicapped persons   -   all under Ministry of Welfare, Govt. of India.

  Colonel  Vohra  was nominated as  a  Member  of  the Governing  Body  as  well  as on the  Executive  Council of  the Himachal Pradesh Govt's Primary Education Society by the Govt  of India,  Department  of  Education, Ministry  of  Human Resources Development.

  Colonel  Vohra  was nominated  by His Excellency, the Governor of Punjab, as a Councillor of the first ever, Municipal Cooporation in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, for further development of facilities, ammenities for its citizens and beautification in this, `CITY BEAUTIFUL'.

In recognition of Colonel Vohra's services in the  cause of  the disabled persons and the suffering humanity, he has  been given the following NATIONAL Awards; presented by the  President of India;

.:
PADMA SHRI, one of the highest National Awards in India.
.:
As an OUTSTANDING Employer of the handicapped.
.:
As an  OUTSTANDING Employee', given to one of Colonel Vohra employees; a bilateral arm amputee.
.:
NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY Award, carrying  cash prize of Rs. 20,000/-, a certificate and a citation
.:
The BEST INSTITUTION Award to Nevedac Prosthetic Centre
.:
AWARD OF HONOUR (an impressive army Momento), presented by Lt.General R de S Daluwatte, RWP, RSP, USP Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, in apprecation of his services, towards the rehabilitation of their disabled soldiers.
.:
Nominated as PAUL HARRIS FELLOW (PHF) by the Rotary International, in recognition of his services to the suffering  humanity and the destitutes.
Besides  the above, Colonel Vohra has  received  several other  Awards/Honours from the Red Cross, Lions and Rotary  Clubs and   similar   other  Associations/Organisations.   Letters   of appreciation,  from  the disabled persons.

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Colonel  Vohra  has widely travelled  within  India  and abroad  including  through  sponsorships by The  Govt  of India, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, SEARO as latter's  S.T.  Consultant. He has been in contant touch with the developments in Prosthetic  -  Orthotics and rehabilitation  of  the  handicapped services with most of institutions, abroad.

  Was WHO, S.T.Consultant to MONGOLIA during November  1990 to  assess  existing facilities, regarding the rehabilitation of their  orthopaedically  handicapped  persons  and  to  advise  on modernizing  these for better services.

 Colonel  Vohra visited MONGOLIA again on  an  assignment from the Asssociation, Italiana Aamici di Raoul Follereau (ALFO - ITALY)  for short Term Consultancy in July 1993, to help  in  the establishment of Prosthetic - Orthotic services in that country and   upgradation  of  the  National  Orthopaedic   Workshop   in Ullanbattar (Mongolia).

  Colonel Vohra had a similar WHO, SEARO  assignment  as (ST Consultant) to Indonesia during Dec 91.

At  the  initiative of the President of  Sri  Lanka  and request by the Sri Lanka Army authorities, Colonel Vohra visited that country,  duly   sponsored by WHO, SEARO in  Sept  1996  to assess  their  requirements  of  disabled persons  (mostly war casualities)  from LTTE operations, with a view to exploring  the possibility  of setting up a Prosthetic - Orthotic Workshop and rehabilitation of their disabled soldiers.  He also visited  MALE (Maldives)  on his way back to India.

As  President of the Orthotic - Prosthetic  Society  of India,  (1987-1991),  his  emphasis was on  quality  training  of Prosthetic-Orthotic   Engineers,   for   this comparatively,  young  profession which, in  turn, improved the quality of rehabilitation of orthopaedically handicapped persons.

   He  has  attended  several  national  and  international Conferences/Seminars,  giving  talks  in   Scientific Sessions, besides  showing  Documentary  Films/Video  Casettes, on the rehabilitation technology.

   Attended  the  International  Congress   on   Prosthetic Techniques   and  Functional  Rehabilitation,  held   at VIENNA (Austria)  from  19-24  Mar 1973.  Documetary  Film,  `They  Live Again' was also exhibited at the Congress.
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  On an assignment by  UNICEF, Colonel Vohra participated in the  Vth  World  Congress  of  the  International  Rehabilitation Medical  Association,  held at MANILA  (Phillipines)  from  16-21 Feb'1986.   He also read a paper on, Development of Prosthetics in  India,  with speical reference to Upper Extremity  cases  and Rural Rehabilitation.

   Took part in the Vth World Congress of the  International Society  for Prosthetic and Orthotics, on WHO,SEARO  assignment, held at Copenhagen (Denmark) from 29 Jun - 04 Jul 1986.

  On  an  invitation from  the  International  Society  for Prosthetics - Orthotics, Colonel Vohra attended the International Seminar on Prosthetic and Orthotics (Traumattic Amputations) held at HERZLIYA (Israel) from 06-10 Sept 1987.  He also read a paper on , Development of Prosthetic in India, with special  reference to  Rural  Rehabilitation,   followed by  screening his Video Casette,  titled, `THEY LIVE AGAIN'.

   Was  invited  to  attend  the  VIth  World  Congress   of International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, held at KOBE (Japan)  from 12-17 Nov 1989, where also, he read a paper in  the Scientific Session.

   At the invitation of the Rehabilitation International,  he attended   IX   Asia/Pacific  Congress  of   the   Rehabilitation International, held at Beijing (China) during Oct 1990.

   Attended   a  Workshop  of  the  SAARC   countries   on, `Rehabilitation   Techniques',  organised  by  the  Ministry   of  Welfare,  Govt. of India, at Secunderabad from 28 November  -  02 December,  1994.  He also read a paper on `Rehabilitation of Arm Amputees in the Developing Countries' (Mechanical and  Electronic Systems).

  Upon sponsorship by the World Health Organisation (SEARO) Colonel   Vohra  attended  the  Eighth  World  Congress  of the International Society for Prosthetic and Orthotics, at Melbourne, Victoria   (Australia)  from  02-07 April  1995.    During the scientific session, he read papers on, `Psyche and rehabilitation of the arm amputees, including Electronic (Switch Control System) and Squatting Artificial Leg , followed by the screening of  the Video Cassette, `THEY LIVE AGAIN'.

    Invited by the Ministry of  Welfare, Govt. of  India,  to attend the International Workshop on; `Indigenous Production  and Distribution of Assistive Devices', organised under the  Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) Agreement from 05-06  Sept 1995.  During the Seminar, he gave a talk  on;  `Myo-Electric   Arms  -  (the Indian  Scenario),  which  was   highly appreciated by the delegates.

  He was also invited by the Govt of Oman, to  attend  the `Combined Pan-Arab/GCG Orthopaedic Congress' held at MUSCAT  from 11th to 14th September 1995, in connection with the  celebrations of  25th  year  of  His  Majesty,  Sultan  Gaboos'  rule  of  the Sultanate.   He  read  a paper  on;  `Prosthetic-Orthotics,  with Appropriate Technology in the Developing Countries , followed  by the  screening  of the Video Cassette, `DISABILITY IS NO  MORE  A LIABILITY'.

   Was invited by the Govt. of India, Ministry of Welfare to attend  India-China  Seminar as a delegate from  India side,  on Multi - Sectoral   Collaborative Action on   People with  Disabilities, held  at  Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi  from  25 Mar - 02  Apr 1997.   An exhibition was also organised at the Seminar, displaying products  of   the  Nevedac  Prosthetic Centre.  As  these were   highly appreciated  by  all  the delegates, the Ministry  asked  him  to organise  another exhibition  of the  NEVEDAC products  at  the Pragati  Maidan, New Delhi from 12 - 20 Apr 1997 for the  general  public. It was a great success.

  In addition to the rehabilitation of the disabled persons, Colonel  Vohra  has  also, contributed a lot  in  various social activities, to serve the cause of the suffering humanity.  A  few of these are given in the following paragraphs.
   Colonel Vohra was a life member of the Indian  Red  Cross Society, Punjab State Branch and also, of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, besides;

(a)  Co-opted Member of the Managing Body of the Indian Red Cross Society,  Punjab State Branch, Chandigarh.
(b)  Co-opted Member of the Executive Committee of St. John Ambulance Association, Punjab State.

Colonel Vohra had been associated with the profession of Prosthetics-Orthotics for over 53 years. He has been the founder of the modern concept of this profession in India. He had dedicated his life for this profession and for the disabled persons, so that:

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THEY LIVE AGAIN , to feel that
Disability is no more a liability .