Community-Based Rehabilitation Programme
According to the United Nations, around one billion people live with disabilities globally – they are the world’s largest minority. Of this number, as many as 40 to 80 million live in India. The majority of the disabled reside in rural areas where accessibility, availability, and utilisation of rehabilitation services and its cost-effectiveness are major issues to be considered. Research on disability-burden, appropriate intervention strategies and their implementation in the present context in India is a big challenge.
The 1978 Alma Ata declaration stated that comprehensive primary health care should include promotive, preventive, curative, and rehabilitative care. The major objective of Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is to ensure that people with disabilities are able to maximise their physical and mental abilities, have access to regular services and opportunities, and achieve full integration within their communities. In addition to the transfer of knowledge to skill development in various types of rehabilitation methods, the community will also be involved in planning, decision-making, and evaluation of the program with multi-sectoral coordination.
The Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation supported the Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust, to carry out a community-based rehabilitation programme in East Delhi. This programme aimed to help people with disabilities living in East Delhi’s slums by providing them with education, vocational training, medical care and employment. Adapted from the World Health Organisation’s CBR guidelines, this programme was based on a community-based participatory research model, and the field experiences and feedback from the community were instrumental in guiding its action plan.
The key objectives of the programme were to initiate activities to improve conditions in five key areas –health, education, livelihoods, social and empowerment. The programme also aims to strengthen existing resources and then to transfer ownership of the programme to the community.
More than 3689 members benefited from screening camps, distribution of aids and appliances, referrals and follow-ups to secondary and tertiary centres for advanced treatment. 456 children (of which 254 had disabilities), were motivated to be a part of the formal or informal schooling process. 237 individuals received training in different vocational skills and 100 members were placed in gainful employment. 180 trainers were trained in CBR centres. The programme also created an environment for greater participation by the local leadership and members in the community.
Established in Delhi, Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust is a voluntary organisation that renders rehabilitative services to persons with disabilities through a holistic approach of inclusive education, medical care, vocational training, child guidance and self-employment.
The project has facilitated community based rehabilitation of children from resource poor backgrounds in Gujarat.