About Swasraya

It was in this scenario that Swasraya Training and Rehabilitation centre was born in 2000 as the brainchild of Reji Abraham, himself a paraplegic for life. Reji had a terrible accident, which shattered his spinal chord at T12 level. For four long months he underwent Physiotherapy and Training at the Christian Medical College, Vellore. Today, he takes care of all his personal needs, has a busy social life, travels around driving his specially- adjusted car, and as Administrative Manager of the Centre, and manages the day-to-day affairs of the institution.
Swasraya Training & Rehabilitation Centre is managed by a registered Charitable Trust (No.71/IV/01) headed by His Grace Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius, Metropilitan, Kandanad East Diocese of the Orthodox Syrian church. The centre is located in a 1.5 acre scenic land at Vettickal near Mulanthuruthy,20km from kochi. Construction is in brisk Progress for a three-storey complex including cellar with a floor area of 30,000sq.ft.This is for accommodation of patients under training and their attendants, exercise rooms, workshops, display room, kitchen, dining hall, dormitories, recreation hall, library, sales department etc. The complex is designed in such a way that the trainees could reach any place in the complex on wheelchairs.
Construction of more than half the main building has been completed, a chapel with parsonage renovated and Holy Mass is being celebrated regularly. The estimated cost on building the complex is Rs Two crores and the equipment for training, Instruments, Furniture, kitchen Utensils, interior settings, vehicles etc will require Rs One crore.
A lesion of the spinal cord usually causes paraplegia; its extent is governed by the position and magnitude of the lesion. Complete severance of the spinal cord will lead to total paralysis of the legs and fecal and urinary INCONTINENCE. Lesser damage may affect the legs and leave the bladder and rectum function unimpaired. Recovery will sometimes take place if the damage to the cord is minimal, but lifelong paralysis is more often the result.
Care of the paraplegic patient should be designed to relieve the symptoms often associated with paralysis, such as pressure sores and urinary infection. As soon as possible a program of physical therapy and retraining should be started – if necessary, in a special center devoted to the care of paraplegics. The provision of special equipment will greatly ease the problems of incontinence and immobility. Many paraplegics, although confined to wheelchairs, live active and useful life.
---Good Housekeeping Family Health & Medical Guide, Hearst Books, New York, P.450.
Various systems of medical treatment were tried but nothing could bring him back to normalcy. As a final attempt he was taken to Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore (Tamil Nadu) where the doctors told him frankly that he could never recover from the total paralysis of the lower half of his body. But they instilled in him enough confidence to face the grim reality. Medical counseling and physiotherapic treatment he received at C.M.C., Vellore enabled him to become a self-supportive, self-reliant person. His deep faith in God, cheerful nature, optimistic attitude and the strong support of his family and friends helped him brave the situation with an iron will. Now he manages his workshop and attends to all his personal needs including cooking, washing, sitting in his wheel chair etc. He drives his car with hand controlled brake and accelerator. It has always been his strong wish to do something substantial for the paraplegics like himself and it is from this desire that the idea of establishing a rehabilitation and training centre for them blossomed in his mind. Finding no way to materialize his desire, he kept it as a wild dream at the bottom of his heart until he conveyed his plan to Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius, his diocesan metropolitan. His Grace patiently listened to him and at the end of their talk promised to help him in every possible way to make his dream a reality. It marked the birth of ‘Swasraya’.