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 society. MMRCD begun its rograms in a few 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 thefield 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 children with disabilities (CWDs) in the larger gamut of child rights. At present, MMRCD has reached out to 3737 children (including CWDs) through various government, non-government and community progams and to 70004 adults (including adult persons with disability).
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 have 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.
- 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 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 disabledchildren and the PWDs for economic self-sufficiency and development
Review and Impact
MMRCD has proved the credibility and 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. Some of the achievements in the review period are:
- Intensive reach from 1 to 13 Gram Panchayats and 1 Municipality (i.e. Dankuni)
- Recognition by the 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 pressure by MMRCD and the community.
- Ensure creation of disability friendly infrastructure in some schools of the operational areas.
- 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 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.
- Intensive capacity building of all staff on looking at disability rights holistically under the larger umbrella of child rights and human rights.
- 25 number of ICD centers to be activated. Immunization of 113 children within 0-5 years age.
- Visit 12 NGOs (3 from each sub-division), and study their attitudes about rights/community based approach.
- Conduct intensive workshops and capacity building initiatives on UNCRPD, Child Rights, PWD Act, RTE and Disability Rights vis-Ã -vis education and Development Rights, entitlements and govt. services for GP level Core Groups, arent's Groups, Neighbourhood Groups and Disabled Persons' Organization.
- To facilitate obtaining of birth certificates, disability certificates and identity cards for CWDs.
- To organize 14 awareness campaigns, 10 GP level sports meet, 7 GP level cultural meet, 4 Dist/Block level sports & cultural-meet, 2 social meets.
- Ensure protection from physical and mental violence, injury, neglect, maltreatment, economic exploitation and abuse involving different stakeholders.
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