The Pioneer of Artificial Limbs Making
Thiruvananthapuram: If there is one word that would aptly describe Varghese Babu, it would be ‘pioneer.’ The very first prosthetist and orthotist in Kerala to have set up the first prosthetics centre affiliated to the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) in Thiruvananthapuram, he guided his firm to the position of the leader in the artificial limb manufacturing business.
Yemvees Prosthetics Centre, the brainchild of prosthetist and orthotist Varghese, has completed a successful run of 37 years. Asked what kinds of artificial limbs his firm provides, Varghese quips, “Anything below the neck.”
Varghese completed his course in prosthetics and orthotics in 1982 and soon started business and private practice simultaneously, availing a loan of Rs. 25,000. “I started from scratch. With the help of my dedicated employees and hard work, I could transform it into an enterprise offering hope to persons with physical disability,” says the Kannur native, for whom Thiruvananthapuram is his second home.
Past 65, he is still as energetic as he was in his younger days. “I was among the first registered members of RCI. My registration number is 2,” he beams with pride.
Yemvees has yet another branch in Kollam and it caters to clients across the country, most of them hailing from Kerala. By providing Myoelectric artificial limbs, lower extremity limbs, below-knee limbs and above-knee limbs and support system, Yemvees has been serving people from various economic strata all these years. Varghese explains, “We provide artificial limbs the price of which ranges from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 12 lakh. We have been able to launch many innovative products to aid mobility of those who are in pain and distress. We also organise regular camps to provide artificial limbs with the support of Kerala Government’s SSA project in all the 32 educational districts.”
His pillars of strength are his wife Soja Babu, sons Ashiq Babu and Akshay Babu and the 25-odd employees. Extending its activities to the educational sector, the company has started Institute of Prosthetics and Orthotics at Nedumangad in the capital city, with major expansion plans. “Our new four-storey building is coming up near Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. Apart from a year-long course, we are also planning to start a two-year course in Prosthetics and Orthotics at our institute,” Varghese Babu adds.