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Indian automobile designer focuses on disabled persons

DNIS News Network – Mumbai based Ferdinand J. Rodricks specialises in adapting vehicles for persons with disability. His most famous client is Professor Stephen Hawking for whom he adapted a Mahindra Voyager during the Professor's India visit.

Ferdinand Rodrick with a disabled client.The man who customised Sir Stephen Hawking’s Mahindra Voyager, Ferdinand ‘Ferdie’ Rodrick, has worked on over 200 assignments for physically disabled drivers with various types of disabilities. What started out as a hobby for him, is his passion today.

Rodrick's motivation is to give everyone a chance at being independent. Explaining the mechanism of these specially designed cars, Rodrick said, “All the foot controls, depending on the affected limb, are transferred to the hand.”

One of his most notable creations was a fully hand-operated manual transmission Gypsy for a person with no legs. The ‘Ferrero Equip’ was specially designed for Sujata Kulkarni who had never thought that she would be on the driver’s seat, until she met Rodrick. “People told me that handling a car was no joke with my disability. But I gave it a second thought and contacted Ferdie. He came over to my place and there was an absolute make over,” says a satisfied Sujata.

Ferdinand can be contacted at:
The Milestone, Joseph Cardijn Technical School,
Kashaba Jadhav Marg, Off Dr Ambedkar Road, Naigaum,
Dadar (E), Mumbai 400018.
E-mail: ferdir@vsnl.com
Phone: 022-24171086, 24181282, 24181291