A few months ago, we wrote about Sujana Rejab, popularly known as ‘Pak Su’, a former teacher who dedicates his time to change the lives of handicapped children. How does he change their lives? Arm with a 3D printer, he would create battery-powered robotic arms for these children.
Most of the children receive the robotic arm free of charge because s companies sponsor the cost of robotic arms as part of their corporate social responsibility program.
Now Digital Perak. in charge of digitalizing the state of Perak. has teamed up with ‘Pak Su’ so that he could transfer his knowledge and experience to the masses. One of the first initiatives is offering courses on 3D design and 3D printing to the public at a fraction of the cost in the market.
Students as far as the neighboring states, traveled to Ipoh to join the course. They are not just ordinary students as at least two of them are Ph.D. holders and are lecturing in the School of Arts.
They came to learn from ‘Pak Su’ who learned everything that he knows from the internet.
The two doctorate holders are Dr. Mohd Najib Abdullah Sani and Dr. Mohammad Jameel Mohamed Kamil from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), School of Arts.
They are exploring cheaper solutions for producing shoes that can correct deformity in children such as inverted feet or clubfoot (known as ponseti shoes). The normal treatment is wearing ponseti shoes which cost around RM 1,200 (USD 300). Using a 3D printer the cost of production of similar shoes can be reduced by 90 percent.
No More Robotic Arms For Deserving Children
During the class, Pak Su revealed a piece of shocking news to the participants.
Pak Su expressed his desire to retire from making 3D printed robotic arms for children. Without going into detail, he hinted that the failure of some sponsors to uphold their sponsorship as the main reason.
Pak Su wanted to ensure that there is someone who can carry on his legacy of providing 3D robotic arms to underprivileged children. But he said soon he will share his files for the robotic arms on the internet. This will enable anyone who wishes to continue his legacy to do so.
The problem is there is no guarantee, his successor that could be anyone cashing in from the blueprint that he will release soon. This will be a big loss to deserving children.
Turning Disability Into A Superpower
Giving children robotic arms is not just about helping them come to terms with their disability. It is significantly more than that. It is transforming their disability into an advantage. It is about giving a boost to their self-esteem. More importantly, it is making them feel like a superhero.
It is doubtful whether there is someone who is capable enough to ensure that deserving children get robotic arms for free. It will take more than just a blueprint to pull something off like what Pak Su did.
Sure, you can have somebody with technical know-how to create a robotic arm. But to do it on a social business model where deserving kids can receive robotic arm on sponsorship takes determination and sincerity.
It is hoped that the more companies or philanthropists out would lend a helping hand in ensuring the continuity of this worthy cause.