Community Based Rehabilitation
Our mission of sharing information and reaching out where services are not available for persons with disabilities is achieved through the Community Based Rehabilitation program (CBR).
1,800 individuals with disabilities and their families in the year 2022-23.
Evolution of CBR
Our first community based programme was in Arcot town in 1989, started by a parent who had attended our Out Station programme. Our team visited every month for three years, and trained the team of local mothers. This is now an independent organization called “Nesam“ run by a group of parents.
Since then we have worked with many organizations in different districts for partnerships which last two to four years. Over the last six years we have worked in Dindigul, Virudunagar, Thriuvallur and Karur.
We have completed our goals in the first two partnerships. In the second two districts we are now working with 52 panchayat. It will be completed by December 2024.
We execute capacity building of local community workers of the organizations working with persons with disabilities in rural and low-resource areas.
Our training programmes are customized based on the needs of the community
Sharing our technical expertise with these local partners and promoting rehabilitation in the local community
Training community workers chosen by the partner organization having both theory and practical hand on training in their respective work locations.
Glimpses of our Community Work
A 17 year old young boy who is studying in 12th standard at Pandeshwaram High School, Villivakkam, Thiruvallur District. He is from a low income family with parents who are daily wage workers. He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and needs support in standing and walking. He has been empowered to go to the nearby government high school with the support of his father who drives him in his scooter everyday to school. The community worker Meenakshi, took tremendous effort in reaching out to the school, who first denied him admission because of his locomotor disability . With the help of the CBR team, an awareness campaign was conducted at for the management and peers to learn about disability and to provide an equitable learning environment. Then he got admission and till now the school management is supporting him by shifting his class to the ground floor and assigning him a scribe during exams. He scored 80% in his 10th board exams and is also hoping to perform well in his 12th. Meenakshi visits him weekly at school , he has been seated with other children in the class on the same furniture . He also participates in school events such as sports day and annual day. Ashok loves to be a part of the school drama. and every year he participates in it. it is a pleasure to see everyone in a group ,without any inhibitions to communicate with him ,in spite of his slurred speech. He somehow tries to make them understand using his speech and his alphabet chart. When asked about his future plans following the completion of school, Ashok wanted to pursue a degree and he has always dreamt of going to a college which will happen with the support of the community and Vidya Sagar.
Tulasi, an 18 year old young adult, doing her 12th grade in Karalapakkam High School, Villivakkam Block, Thiruvallur District. She is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and is a wheelchair user. She is a bright girl who is doing science stream and scores 1st rank in her class in all exams. From being discriminated against and bullied in her classroom during her 6th std, Tulasi has come a long way now. She has a good friend circle who helps her to commute and they have also formed study circles for their 12th board exams which the inclusion field worker Natrajan is monitoring everyday. The community worker Sathya has worked with her for the past 6 years and motivated her to go to school everyday in spite of being bullied and through her academic excellence she has grown this much. The Vidya Sagar team took efforts in convincing her mother to send her to college as they were not ready to send her for graduation owing to her disability. She wanted to study a science degree and we have also approached Vel Tech College of Arts and Science in Thiruvallur for her admission which we are hoping will happen by August 2023.
Hasmeen, a 14 year old teenage girl with multiple disabilities, was identified by our community worker Janaki, in Villivakkam Block, Thiruvallur District. She was kept at home until 10 years of age as her family felt shy in sending her to school because of her disability, worrying that she would be bullied in the classroom with no support. Janaki intervened with her family and empowered them to bring her to a nearby government school. She sensitized the school management and her peers, thereby supporting her to be comfortable at school and also helped her in learning the syllabus. Initially she did not participate in any of the school activities and events. On a field visit from the CBR team, during the school’s annual day practice, we happened to get her into a dance program though she did not have good stability in her lower limbs. That created her an interest in dance and she wanted to join a dance class which Vidya Sagar supported her to pursue . Through that now, she is the most called person to dance in the community including government functions and now she is the main performer in the women’s day function of the government of Tamil Nadu. The community worker has also struggled hard to get her disability pension after it was stopped for a while and she is a happy person who has started earning at a young age through her talent and passion and she has become a star icon in the community.