Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Operation Walk

I was especially proud when I heard about Operation Walk - an organization established by Harpal Singh Khanuja and his wife Maria Khanuja. The non-profit organization is dedicated to providing free knee and hip replacements to underserved people around the world. The concept behind the organization was to perform complicated surgeries on people in developing countries, “where arthritis progresses to its end stages and reconstructing joints becomes technically challenging.” Often times, it is people who are most at need who cannot afford the surgery. A news article discusses Operation Walk’s recent trip to Lima, Peru where they performed 48 surgeries to replace knee and hip joints. Here on TLH we like to highlight examples of seva - this is another important example of what it means to do selfless service.

The organization’s goal is to replicate the Peru mission to Panjab where the need is also great (some of which can be attributed to the chemical farming of the Green Revolution).

The goal is to learn the ropes and move on to Punjab, Harpal Singh said. “It’s done more than cross my mind.” To coordinate a trip to India would require an extra week’s stay and extra money for cargo, lodging and food. He was initially ready to go to Punjab this year, but when it came time to select a location last November, the Mumbai bombings scared many of the volunteers. Some of them had not been outside of the state of Maryland before the trip to Peru. Perhaps they needed one more trip under their belt, and wait another year to go to Punjab, Harpal Singh said.

“Our community is very eager to have this done in their own area,” he said. “In some respect, a group of sardars or Sikhs doing seva outside Punjab is more of an education.”
Read more at The Langar Hall.

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