It is estimated that over one billion people worldwide live with disabilities. Their participation in social arenas is almost negligible. They do not enjoy easy access to basics such as transportation, employment, or education.
It is important to note that disability is part of the human condition, and that all of us either are or will become disabled to one degree or another during the course of our lives. Invisible or hidden disabilities are common to all with age and cover both physical, mental and emotional problems.
Disability is defined as impairment — it may be physical, cognitive, intellectual, mental, sensory, developmental, or some combination of these, which restricts an individual’s ability to participate in what is considered “normal” in their every day routine. A disability may be present from birth or occur during a person’s lifetime.
Disability is not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives, as per the World Health Organization (WHO).
At AIM for Seva Chatralayams, each child is taught holistic development. So much careful attention is required for a child to learn, grow, and contribute. For a child or adult who suffers from a mental and / or physical disability, or is differently abled as is the preferred terminology — it is a completely different world altogether — for the person, the care-givers, and the institution.
A humungous level of commitment and dedication is needed to ensure that a person with disability is comfortable, able to meet basic needs, and only then, depending on the degree of disability, can there be efforts towards rehabilitation and development.
AIM for Seva’s Krupa Home is a residential facility for adults with disabilities. Many of the residents have benefitted to the extent that their medications have been reduced, and their abilities have improved. Another home in Hyderabad called Shanmuga Centre is externally supported by AIM for Seva. It is a day-care centre for children with disabilities. The parents drop the children off in the mornings. The staff members help the children with their meals and take care of them till they are picked up in the evenings.
December 3rd is recognised the world over as WORLD DISABILITY DAY for many years now. We dedicate the month of December to highlight the important issues of people with disabilities. World over, this month is devoted to promote action and raise awareness about disability issues; to draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all. Governments, agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged to partner and support organizations such as AIM for Seva, which aid persons with disabilities, by arranging events and activities for them.
AIM for Seva held the first ever KRUPA HOME CYCLOTHON, bringing avid fans of the cycling sport together to ride for a cause. Our December Facebook posts highlight this event with photos and captures of the event.
More discussion, more inclusivity in society, breaking barriers, empowerment, creating opportunities for independent living and sustainable livelihooods using art, culture, infotech, and most importantly — accessibility — is the need of the hour. We need more policy-makers and practitioners working in the field of disability to review current practices and identify opportunities for change. Infrastructure and services must be made more environmentally accessible and user-friendly to include and facilitate persons with disabilities.
We encourage more people to come forward to support people with disabilities at AIM for Seva’s Krupa Home and Shanmuga Society. Help us help them.
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References – www.un.org