A former Dundee businessman has received a major honour for humanitarian work in Sri Lanka.
Robert Burns has spearheaded a campaign through Rotary International to provide prosthetic limbs and related help to disabled inhabitants of the Indian Ocean island.
Those helped include children who have lost limbs through unexploded armaments left over from the island’s civil war.
Sri Lankans of all ages also suffered serious injuries requiring amputations because of traffic and railway accidents. Others lost limbs because of illness.
In recognition of his efforts, Robert, a former president of Dundee Rotary Club, was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship.
Robert was nominated for the prize by the Rotary Club of Kandy in Sri Lanka, with whom he worked on the project.
Dundee club president David Laing said: “So many people in Sri Lanka would not have had the opportunity for independent living had it not been for his continued efforts.”
Sri Lankan amputees face a life of poverty-stricken immobility unless they can come to the attention of charities.
Their disability also blights their families if the sufferer is the bread- winner and cannot earn a living.
In 2010 the Dundee club, under Robert’s presidency, offered to help.
With Kandy, they organised two small prosthetic limb projects to the combined value of more than $8000.
The former managing director of Burns & Harris stationers recalled after a visit to the island: “We were amazed at what a little sum purchases and the humanitarian good it does.”
The huge unmet need he saw, with hundreds of amputees desperate to walk again, prompted him to galvanise efforts through Rotary to raise more funds.
The clubs in Dundee and Kandy continued their work and secured a global grant from Rotary International, an effort which reached a total of more than $58,000.