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Vikalp Foundation was established in 1998 by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Azad who had great interest in social work since his college days. The organization has pledged to raise the standard of living of the poor, marginalized and deprived, residing in rural areas. Since its inception, Vikalp Foundation has been engaged in designing and implementing innovative approaches for upliftment of dalits and underprivileged. The programs are people centric and follow the principle of decentralization. The focus of the organization is to facilitate processes and professional development, among women and grass root level social groups. Networking and influencing district agencies in favor of social justice are some of the organization’s basic strategies to accomplish its mission. Since 2001, Vikalp is working for Persons with Disability (PWD) and Children with Disability (CWD) through community based and home based rehabilitation strategies. Skill development of CWDs and PWDs and capacity building of the parents and community has been their key intervention. This year the organization plans to cover 25 villages of 2 Panchayats of Tikari block in Gaya district of Bihar.
The district is a drought prone area and faces deficit of safe drinking water. Water available in hand pumps has a high percentage of arsenic. This has resulted in several health problems. Disability is a severe concern for the district, both among children and adults. Children are born with disabilities and even die during birth. The mother’s life is also in danger due to negligence and improper care. Inaccessibility to health care services, discrimination by health workers and poor economic conditions prevail. Delivery of pregnant women is practiced at home with the help of untrained birth attendants. Disability is one of the aftermaths of the practice of unsafe delivery in the area. Gender discrimination is rampant. The girl child faces various sorts of discrimination within her family and society. Child marriage is another alarming issue.
There are 280 people with disability in the area, who face lots of constraints and stigmatization in the community. There is 1 health centre, 3 sub centers, 14 ICDS centers and 7 PDS shops in the region. There is 1 primary school, 2 middle schools, 6 upper primary schools and no high school in the vicinity of the two panchayats. Children of the dalit community face immense discrimination in the schools from the teachers and hence retention in schools is also low.
- To create awareness and sensitize the community on issues of child rights with a special focus on the rights of children with disabilities (CWDs).
- To facilitate access to the services and facilities for the children and CWDs.
- To sensitize the stakeholders on the issues of child rights specially focusing on the rights of CWDs.
- To liaison and establish linkage of CWDs with government agencies and programs for their development.
- To push for policy formulation for ensuring the rights of CWDs.
- The organization is in its first year of partnership with CRY and the plans focus on the preventive and rehabilitative strategy with regard to disability.
- Community level awareness on the disability issue.
- Sensitization of the community and establishing disability as a fact, not as a curse.
- Ensuring immunization, malnutrition, delaying child marriage (which has the potential threat towards disability) etc.
- Accessing basic services meant for the children.
- Early Detection of disabilities.
- Management of the disabled person .
- Community based and home based therapy.
- Linkages with the resource organization for treatment, surgery etc.
- Need based support to the children and families.
- Linkages to the relevant services and facilities.
- Baseline survey for assessing the situational analysis of children with disabilities and analyzing the history of disabled children.
- Preparation of teaching, learning material for addressing disability among children.
- Meeting with parents (especially mothers), school teachers and anganwadis for awareness generation on issues of school enrollment, retention, immunization, early marriage and providing special support to children with disabilities.
- Convergence of children with special focus on disabled children and parents to government schemes and programs.
- Capacity building of staff on child rights and community based rehabilitation process for children with disabilities.
- Cultural activities such as a children’s festival (Bal Mela) to ensure participation of children with disabilities.
- Linkages with organizations/ institutions/ agencies for curative health care services for children with disabilities.
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