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Makhla Muktadhara Rehabilitation Center For The Disabled (MMRCD)

Location: 109 villages in Hooghly district, West Bengal

   

Situation

Disability is closely linked with exclusion and poverty.  Not only are the disabled segregated because of their disability, but the segregation or isolation increases in case of the poor. The poor are not able to access quality modes of treatment nor do they have adequate education or knowledge to demand their rights from the government. Women with disability face different social stigma in comparison to men, who also face stigma because they become economic burdens. The disabled, are often seen as non productive or incompetent, lie outside the family system and economic system. If a layer of caste is added, then the degree of being treated as outcastes becomes worse. Looking at policy aspects, we see that the practices of the ICDS by and large do not include disabled children. There are scattered pockets along the length and breadth of the country where a disabled child can be found within an ICDS run program. Late detection and lack of follow up of disability further aggravates the situation.

Challenge

The people of the operational area of 46 revenue villages of 8-Gram Panchayats of three blocks of Hooghly district, are mostly dependent on agriculture and allied activities as their source of livelihood. Since it is mostly single cropping, the agriculture does not support the life system fully. Hence, a majority of the people are poor. Low income and poverty prevailing in the area happens to be a major reason for malnutrition resulting in malnourished pregnant women giving birth to under-weight babies growing up with disabilities. Makhla aims to integrate the poor & vulnerable children with all types of disabilities in the rural areas, into the mainstream of the society, making the best use of local & available resources.

Objectives

• Establish sustained PRI support towards addressing issues of the disabled at village level.

• Eliminate cultural and social barriers and negative attitudes towards Children with Disabilities.

• Empower the differently abled to access their Rights through formation of associations of CWDs and PWDs

• To develop Self Help Groups among the parents of the disabled children and the PWDs for economic self-sufficiency and development.

Plans

• Intensive capacity building of all staffs.

• 25 number of ICDs to be activated. Immunization of 113 number of children within 0-5 years age. 

• Visit 12 NGOs (3 from each sub-division), and collect  their attitudes of them about Rights/Community based approach & Network

• Conduct intensive workshops and capacity building initiatives on UNCRPD, Child Rights, PWD Act, RTE and Disability Rights vis-à-vis education and Development Rights, entitlements and govt. services for GP level Core Groups, Parent's Groups, Neighbourhood Groups and Disabled Persons' Organization.

• To organize 14 Awareness Campaign Programme, 10 GP level sports meet, 7 GP level cultural meet, 4 Dist/Block level sports & cultural-meet, 2 Social meet

• Ensure protection from physical and mental violence, injury, neglect, maltreatment, economic exploitation and abuse involving different stakeholders.

       

 

Background:

Makhla Muktadhara Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled [MMRCD] has been working since 1998 to address issues related to disabled children and their rehabilitation within the society. MMRCD begun its programs in few select villages in one Panchayat and is now spread in 109 villages covering 16 Panchayats, 1 municipality and 3 blocks. The Project Holder, Malay Kumar Sen, is an experienced development worker in the field of Disability and related activism. Through his efforts, he has established strong working links with the local government and non-government institutions and has also developed technical expertise in the area of disability and addressing community rehabilitation issues. The aim of the intervention is to create a disabled-friendly environment where distinctions between People with Disabilities (PWDs) and mainstream community will be eliminated and to restore the Rights of the Children with Disabilities (CWDs) in the larger gamut of Child Rights. At present, MMRCD has reached out to 3737 children (including CWDs) through action based programmes and through various government and non-government progammes and to 70004 adults (including adult Persons with Disability).

Situation:

The economic status of the rural community is meager with limited livelihood options. People migrate to neighboring cities like Kolkata, Bardhaman, Hooghly and Howrah. Poverty resulting in low intake of food and malnourishment is one of the primary causes of disability. Some other prominent causes of disability are poor hygienic living conditions, early child marriage and problem related to Rhesus factor in blood during pregnancy. Predominance of domestic violence, high use of alcoholism is also observed in the villages thus adding to the factor of disability.  The disabled are excluded and has to live in isolation. Women with disability get stigmatized more as compared to men, who also face social stigma since they become economic burdens. The disabled persons are often treated as non-productive or incompetent who lie outside the family and economic system. Late detection and lack of follow up of disability further aggravates the situation.

Objectives:

  • To establish sustained PRI support towards addressing issues of the disabled at village level.
  • To eliminate cultural and social barriers and negative attitudes towards Children with Disabilities (CWDs) and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at family and community level.
  • To empower CWDs and PWDs to access their Rights through formation of associations of CWDs and PWDs and parents of CWDs and PWDs
  • To develop Self Help Groups among the parents of the disabled children and the PWDs for economic self-sufficiency and development

Review:

MMRCD has proved the credibility and required potential to work for the issue of disability and garner support from the community. The programmes of Makhla have impacted the lives of CWDs as well as PWDs and their inclusion in 109 villages and all the 3 blocks of Uttarpara-Serampore sub-division. Some of the achievements in last year are:

  • Intensive reach from 1 to 13 Gram Panchayats and  1 Municipality (i.e. Dankuni)
  • Recognition by Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for the Handicap, national Institutes - VRCH, NIOH, NIHH, NIMH
  • Shifting of Disability measurement board from 2nd floor to ground floor in Serampore Walsh hospital due to advocacy by MMRCD and Community.
  • Ensure creation of disability friendly infrastructure in some school of the operational areas.
  • Post 2007-08, MMRCD had expanded to 60 more villages under Chanditala I Block (new block for direct intervention) whereby their total number of children with disability under direct intervention rose up to 861 from 495 in the year 2008-09 and the number of adult PWDs (Persons With Disabilities) with whom direct intervention was carried out stood at 530 in the age group of 18 to 35 years.

Plans:

  • Intensive capacity building of all staffs on looking at Disability Rights holistically under the larger umbrella of Child Rights and Human Rights.
  • 25 number of ICDs to be activated. Immunization of 113 number of children within 0-5 years age.
  • Visit 12 NGOs (3 from each sub-division), and collect  their attitudes of them about Rights/Community based approach & Network
  • Conduct intensive workshops and capacity building initiatives on UNCRPD, Child Rights, PWD Act, RTE and Disability Rights vis-à-vis education and Development Rights, entitlements and govt. services for GP level Core Groups, Parent's Groups, Neighbourhood Groups and Disabled Persons' Organization.
  • To facilitate in obtaining birth certificate, disability certificate and identity cards to CWDs.
  • To organize 14 Awareness Campaign Programme, 10 GP level sports meet, 7 GP level cultural meet, 4 Dist/Block level sports & cultural-meet, 2 Social meet
  • Ensure protection from physical and mental violence, injury, neglect, maltreatment, economic exploitation and abuse involving different stakeholders.

Budget summary:

Particulars Amount (US $)
Right to Development 5,244
Right to Survival 4,437
Right to Participation 4,639
Administration 5,850
Total 20,170

 

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