iCBR Project- Inclusive Community Rehabilitation Project

Locations: Previous: Karjat taluka, Raigad District; Current: Vashi Naka, M-Ward Mumbai

Sponsor: TISS

Social inequalities and disparities are complex and multidimensional phenomenon and require a multidisciplinary approach taking into account the cultural, economic, geographical, political and social factors that are specific to the rural context. Based on the needs of such a context a multi-pronged and inclusive rights based CBR approach has been chosen for strategic interventions in collaboration and assistance with Government and Non-Governmental Organisations in order to provide livelihood support, education, health care and rehabilitation services to the disabled population within their own community for a sustained period.

The Inclusive Community Rehabilitation Project was instituted in Karjat as an innovative experiment to implement the basic principles of Community Based Rehabilitation with an exclusive focus on holistic rehabilitation of rural people with disabilities to address the social issues of access to quality healthcare, inclusive education and sustainable livelihood for the people with disabilities residing in the rural areas in Karjat Block, District Raigad, Maharashtra. The Karjat block was chosen since despite its proximity to Mumbai there are very limited resources available to rural communities in the area since villages are spread out and few services and facilities reach people living in the interior areas. Furthermore, for persons with disability this problem of access is further compounded by limited mobility. Given this context the project focused on inclusion of persons with disabilities of various types into the village community. The project has since moved out of the area and handed over to local organizations working in the area based on its focus on a strengths perspective and partnership approach which is at the core of the underlying approach adopted by the project. Work was undertaken with different stakeholders to empower persons with disability and the rural communities in the field in the course of 3 years by facilitating the formation of disabled people's organizations and self help groups who were trained and empowered to work on their own and advocate for themselves with the support of other local organizations.Thereafter a decision was taken to move into an urban community to further expand innovation based on the principles of Community Based Rehabilitation to intervene and work with urban marginalized communities.

Currently, the iCBR project is working in the area of Vashi Naka in M- Ward Mumbai which was initiated based on requests from various professionals working in the M-Ward area. The Vashi Naka area was specifically identified and chosen since there are no organizations working in the field of disability in the Vashi Naka area. This area is dominated by urban slum populations who lack access to basic facilities related to health care, education and livelihood. In the past year the iCBR Project has been involved in surveying the population to identify persons with disability in need of support. A total of 215 cases of persons with disability have been identified in need of intervention for support related to health care, education and livelihoods.It is in the process of networking and expansion to increase resource mobilization in addition to continuing the survey work for disability identification.