March 30, 2023
HANOI – For people with leg disabilities, their vehicles are wheelchairs. However, sometimes their means of transport is damaged or degraded, making travel more difficult.
Understanding these difficulties and hardships, teachers and students of Đà Nẵng Vocational Training College have implemented a project called “The Loving Wheelchair Community” that repairs and donates wheelchairs for disabled people.
In the workshop of the college, there are always dozens of students who are meticulously repairing wheelchairs for the disabled.
These are wheelchairs received by students from people with disabilities to repair them free of charge.
Lê Văn Dương, a third-year student in the automobile technology department, said that he started working as a wheelchair repairer almost a year ago. Previously, Dương used to work part-time to earn extra income in his spare time, but since the school implemented the project, Dương and his fellow students spend time working as a wheelchair repairers.
Meanwhile, Nguyễn Hồng Quân has voluntarily participated in the project since the first days of its launching.
After being selected, Quân was trained by teachers and senior students to repair wheelchairs.
Gradually, Quân became a skilled worker of the wheelchair repair workshop after one year.
“Due to learning automotive technology, when I heard that the school had a project “The Loving Wheelchair Community”, I volunteered to participate immediately,” Quân said.
“At first, I was confused with the repairs, but over time, I was supported by teachers and senior students and now I can fix wheelchairs for the disabled myself,” he said.
“When each wheelchair is repaired, I feel very happy and proud to have contributed a part of the effort and share the burden with the less fortunate in life,” the third-year student said.
Support for people with disabilities
Lê Thanh Ngà, deputy secretary of the college’s Youth Union, said that the project of Loving Wheelchair Community was a meaningful and practical programme for both students and people with disabilities in the city.
Since the project was launched in June 2022, up to now, the workshop has about 20 students and has repaired 30 wheelchairs for people with disabilities in the city.
According to Ngà, most of the manual wheelchairs are often damaged in the tires. Therefore, the teachers and students in the workshop together discussed and repaired the vehicles to comply with standards and ensure the durability of the vehicle, especially to create maximum safety for the users.
“When a wheelchair needs repairing, people just need to call the school’s hotline and someone will come to pick up the wheelchair and bring it for repair and return it within two to five days,” Ngà said.
“The most difficult thing in repairing is spare parts, especially for new-technology vehicles,” Ngà said.
“Therefore, we have to manufacture parts from materials and components available in the workshop. In particular, there are persons who have lost both arms and legs and have difficulty using wheelchairs, so the repairmen have to install controllers and turn wheelchairs into automatic vehicles to make it easier for them to use,” said Ngà.
The repair cost for each wheelchair only costs a few hundred thousand đồng but the cost of buying a new one is several million đồng.
Therefore, the project of free wheelchair repairs for the disabled will help reduce costs and partially relieve the burden of the disabled, especially poor ones, Ngà said.
Hồ Viết Hà, head of Đà Nẵng Vocational Training College, said that currently in the city and the whole country, there were very few wheelchair repair services for people with disabilities.
Most people with disabilities were poor, so it would be very difficult for them to buy new wheelchairs.
“During repairing, the students have manufactured many parts and accessories to replace the spare parts that they could not find in the market. This is a creative skill and a learning process for students,” Hà said.
“In particular, the main goal of the project is to build students’ love for the disadvantaged in society and help them integrate into life and have stronger ‘legs’,” he added. — VNS