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Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)

Campaign by Prabhat Education Foundation

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Little data existed on the extent of special needs in Ahmedabad. Information was largely anecdotal and through informal channels. Outreach to those with disabilities did exist from some dedicated institutions working from centralized facilities located in the more elite sections of the city. Prabhat research indicated a concentration of children with special needs in the low-income, deprived neighbourhoods of eastern Ahmedabad where the poor, Dalits and minorities are concentrated. These locations were far removed from access to services due to poverty, severe mobility constraints, lack of awareness as well as social and political marginalization. There was little outreach to those with disabilities from civil society, other than occasional charitable ventures. There were no NGOs dedicated to this need. Huge issues of ignorance, superstition, stigma and gender are faced by individuals and families trying to cope with mental and physical challenges. A deep sense of hopelessness among parents was intensified by immense burdens (economic, psychological, social and emotional) on mothers. This reality indicated a basic need that was to guide interventions to reach the special child in her own isolated location: in the home and in her neighbourhood and to create awareness.

The task would be to build support systems there that could take the special child up a ladder of hope, confidence, and capacities. Homes and neighbourhoods would be linked to basic counseling, therapy and learning opportunities through Prabhat’s Home-based solutions, where above mentioned services would reach the homes of children unable to access any institutional facility due to issues of mobility. Further access and linkages would be offered to more specialized services in the city through Prabhat partnerships with doctors, hospitals, counselors, educators and trainers in the city. Prabhat’s strategy will be to tackle isolation and despair at home, and to build a ladder of self-confidence, service and access to rights and facilities that would provide benchmarks of progress toward productive citizenship.

The needs in this sector have intensified through these 14 years as a result of accelerating urbanization, migration into cities, population growth, and social as well as political struggle. Prabhat is striving towards:

-          Demonstrating to society an alternative approach to a national challenge, and encouraging others to learn from this demonstration.

-          Facilitate opportunities to make the child with special needs a productive member of the society. Starting from education up to employment.

-          Making the children function as more equal members of homes and neighbourhoods, which now give them the new experience of respect as persons of worth and with a future.

-          Provide access to services which are theirs by right but of which they are often unaware or denied by an uncaring ‘system’.

-          Move parents from hopelessness and fatalism to positive and optimistic engagement with the progress of special children.

-          Build towards shared responsibility within families in taking care of the child with special needs.

-          Building empathy and support for those with special needs across the country, especially with the younger generation, facilitating a conducive environment for an individual with special needs to thrive in.

Prabhat Education Foundation

Prabhat Education Foundation

Beneficiary Charity

Keshav Chatterjee

Keshav Chatterjee


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