on the details of
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. 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 disable-friendly environment where distinctions between People with Disabilities (PWDs) and the 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 3,737 children (including CWDs) and 70,004 adults (including adult Persons with Disabilities) through action based programs and various government and non-government programs.
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 alcohol is also observed in the villages. The disabled are excluded and have to live in isolation. Women with disability get stigmatized more as compared to men, who also face social stigmas 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.
- To establish sustained Panchayat support towards addressing issues of the disabled at the village level.
- To eliminate cultural and social barriers and negative attitudes towards Children with Disabilities (CWDs) and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at the 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 and Impact
MMRCD has proven credibility and the required potential to work for the issue of disability and garner support from the community. The programs 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.
- Intensive reach to 16 Gram Panchayats and Dankuni Municipality.
- Recognition by the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for the Handicap and National Institute on disability.
- Creation of infrastructure that is friendly for disabled children in some public schools of the operational areas.
- Disability certificates were issued to 170 CWDs.
- 30 CWDs were given identity cards.
- Mainstreamed 98 CWDs in formal education, linked 75 disable children to Sarba Siksha Abhiyan (SSA).
- 34 CWDs mainstreamed in the ICDS Centres.
- 114 children with disabilities were given the Home Package (IHP), involving Parents and Care-givers.
- Nearly 400 CWDs were given life skill training, mobility training, regular therapeutic care, physio-occupational therapy and speech therapy treatment.
- Intensive capacity building of project staffs on the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment and on various schemes and provisions on disability.
- Exposure visit to SSDC to observe the child parliament program and understand children’s processes along with 12 children from the MMRCD children’s group.
- Provide technical training to all stakeholders for therapeutic intervention and care of the CWDs and PWDs.
- Facilitate obtaining of birth certificate, disability certificate and identity cards for CWDs.
- Ensure inclusive and quality education to children with disabilities in the ICDS centers and the public schools utilizing SSA.
- Ensure protection from physical and mental violence, injury, neglect, maltreatment, economic exploitation and abuse for children with disabilities.
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