DISABILITY NGOs ALLIANCE��Building Vibrant Organizations for INCLUSIVENESS and EMPOWERMENT Of Persons with Disabilities
There are several extremely competent NGOs, working in the disability sector with a dream to make a difference to the lives of PWDs. But there are several challenges faced by these do-gooders.
Poor networking amongst NGOs has been identified as a major challenge. It is the cause of duplication of efforts, conflicting strategies at community level, a lack of learning from experience and an inability of NGOs to address local structural causes of poverty, deprivation and under-development. Negative competition for resources also undermines the reputation of the sector and the effectiveness of NGO activities at community level
Several NGOs are facing difficulty in finding sufficient, appropriate and continuous funding for their work. Funding issues have become particularly challenging, following the economic crisis
The size of the problem:
Census 2011 has revealed that 26.8 million people in India suffer from one or the other kind of disability. This is equivalent to 2.21% of India’s population. The World Health Organization (WHO), which uses a wider definition of disability- including conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease among senior citizens, estimates that 6-10% of the population suffers from identifiable physical or mental disability. This works out to more than 70 million people in India. Women with disabilities accounting to 11.8 million in India are recognized to be multiply disadvantaged, experiencing exclusion on account of their gender and their disability. Mortality for children with disabilities may be as high as eighty per cent and amongst the children who do survive; more than 75% do not attend school.
There is a form of prejudice in our society that surrounds disability. The disabled are often treated with pity, avoidance or mockery. People at large need to relook at how we as a society understand this issue and develop a more sensitive and inclusive approach towards Persons with Disabilities. People with disabilities do not need sympathy or pity, they need opportunities to maximize their independence.
There is a definite need to review the existing legislative framework in India, to examine whether it adequately promotes the rights to people living with disabilities, to ensure that existing laws and practices that are discriminatory towards these people are repealed or amended. Some policies restrict the PWDs to use services such as bank policies, vehicle-license, and others. In addition, there have been a few airline transport services that prevent physically-impaired persons from going on-board. Disabled rights groups are demanding new laws that would guarantee civil and political rights to disabled people and expand the definition of disability. Also, there is much to be done to educate people and raise awareness towards PWDs. Despite the large percentage of population they constitute, PWDs face social exclusion and discrimination.
It is factors like these that have propelled the birth on DNA – Disability NGO Alliance, with an endeavor to reach out and make impact, providing effective solutions towards enhancing the quality of lives of all Individuals with Disabilities.
Families with PWDs suffer from psychological, emotional and financial burden which impact their productive capabilities; yet their contribution is not being recognized and not enough is being done to equip them to deal with the issue.
There are several stakeholders in promoting the goal of a disability-inclusive society. DNA comes with an in-depth study of the challenges faced by various stakeholders and the specific role they can play in promoting inclusiveness of PWDs.
- Society: Over the years, the society in India has failed to give the disabled their place and the dignity they deserve. Prevailing attitudes and the treatment accorded to PWDs reflect in his/ her self-image and determine the way they function. Persons with disabilities frequently find their opportunities limited because of social rejection, discriminatory employment practices, architectural barriers and inaccessibility to public facilities. In this context, therefore, societal attitudes are significant since they largely determine the extent to which the personal, social, educational and psychological needs of persons with disabilities will be realized.
- Government & Policies: While many Acts have been passed by the Parliament, India has painfully dragged its feet over the implementation of these legislations. DNA comes together as a body to effectively implement these policies seeking to provide for early intervention, education employment, affirmative action, full participation and non-discrimination to the PWDs. There is also very little knowledge on how to implement this policies.Following are among potential issues not being addressed by the Govt.:
- Poor investment on R&D for developing systems & structures
- poor investment on Human Resource Development for the growth of the Rehabilitation Sector
- Limited growth, Scaling up & Consistency
- PWDs & ParentsPeople with disabilities often have low awareness of rights & entitlements. A study conducted by a social protection group from World Bank in 2007, reveals that 94% of households with disabled members have not heard of PWD Act in rural Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. While there are several NGOs spread across the length and breadth of the country, they face several challenges to expand into rural and under developed areas to reach out and provide services. DNA proposes to bring numerous Disability NGOs to network together so as to come up with a strategy to operationalize and implement the policy framework more effectively, ensuring a much wider outreach.
DNA was born out by individuals heading different Organizations working in this sector. There was a need of a collective group, common forum and a platform to not only addresses the issues of the disability sector as a single unified voice but also to create an impact. And enable the growth of NGOs to full fill equality and justice for people with disability.
DNA is a registered society. Founded & led by leading Disability, Voluntary Organizations in the State, formed for enabling Disability NGOs in the State of Karnataka to work together for the growth of the disability sector. The focus is to engage with Government, Civil Society, corporates and social sector organizations to draw the attention on this sector and to adopt professionalism approaches in addressing the challenges of creating a more inclusive society that also empower the PWD and their parents. Encouraging forwarding looking stakeholders to take up leadership and play the role of mentors, engaging resources with technical know-how required for the growth of the sector.
DNA creates a platform for disability NGOs and experts in the sector to share their knowledge & skills with smaller and emerging NGOs to enhance their understanding & knowledge, transfer skills to them, enable them to cover new geographies & to improve the quality of intervention for Persons with Disability.
DNA will work with the Government to co-create a working system at a different level including at the community level and develop process, structures and systems for effective inclusion of PWDs and improve the quality of support for PWDs, parents, care givers & other stake holders. The goal is to develop a working relationship, processes, & systems for speedy implementation of different Acts and their provisions. The initial stage will focus on working with:
- Women & Child Development (W&CD)
- Directorate of Differently Abled and Sr. Citizens. (DEDA& Sr. Citizens)
- Health & Family Welfare (H&FW)
- Urban local bodies, (ULBs).
DNA will also engage with Civil Society organizations, Corporates and the media to work towards bringing a change of mind sets and build an enabling environment for inclusion of PWDs at different levels.
DNA identifies & creates forums: directly and through its members:
- For discussions on Disability issues
- To build networks with media & opinion makers
- To promote disability issues in seeking support
- To reach out to those un-reached.
- Towards increasing association between NGOs, Corporates & other civil society organizations’
Building vibrant organizations for impacting, greater & equal opportunities for Inclusiveness and Empowerment of PWDs
To enable NGOs to work towards:
- To ensure that society at large becomes inclusive and works towards building an environment with greater concerns and sensitivity towards PWDs.
- To influence not only policies but also the practices of various stakeholders to achieve these goals
- To take good practice approaches to scale and develop institutional models and build sustainable institutions.
- Building DNA as a strong entity and strengthening the members is the key objective of the alliance.
- Better coordination among disability organizations to result in the NGO network responding more effectively and more efficiently.
- Speaking with one voice to have greater impact, a clearer voice and more potential to raise resources to support the cause.
- Continue to strategically liaise with Govt. Departments to influence policy makers and opinionators in the disability sector and ensure better accountability, better utilization of resources in the sector.
- Enroll corporates to use their skillsets, knowledge and resources to play a strategic role in the sector.
- Enroll potential Corporates and Donors in a big way to increase financial contribution and strategically raise resources through innovative means to meet the goals set out by the Alliance and its members.
- DNA proposes to put forward the following tasks for inclusion by concerned Govt. Departments as per the Disability Acts though enabling NGOs to full fill the following.
- Ensure that there is universal information for all Parents of PWDs and targeted support for vulnerable parents to promote early intervention by ensuring the provision by early screening and provision of rehabilitation and support by the PHCs\DDRCs services that are jointly designed with parents, NGOs and other civil society organizations
- Ensure easy access to support for the overall health and well-being of PWDs including mental health to reduce problems and long term risk
- Ensure the provision of age appropriate rehabilitation services including health and wellbeing services for 0-25 year olds based on a holistic local assessment of their needs
- Ensure to conduct the need assessment survey on all PWDs, in the state of Karnataka and develop the data base to plan appropriate services by the respective departments\ agencies.
- Ensure that commissioners have access to current information about prevalence and needs.
- Publish guidance for training providers across all age groups of PWDs including young people’s workforce on the inclusion of Children with Disabilities and their development, and mental health in their training curriculums to establish this as a public health priority.
The key aim of DNA’s to enable NGOs to promote inclusion and equality of opportunity of disabled people in all areas of community life. DNA propositions to provide information, advice, guidance, training and consultancy to a wide range of statutory, voluntary and business sector organizations, so as to support organizations and enable them to become more accessible on its own and its through its member organizations.
DNA will be the one-stop source for comprehensive information related to disability in Karnataka\ India. A catalogue of all Acts, Laws, Litigations, Legal Aid Cells related to Disability are available at DNA. An active data base of all the Organizations, Services Provides and Individuals that provide products and services to PWD and their parents, will ensure ready and easy access for all PWDs.
Our Goal – Enriching the lives of PWDs through NGOs and other organizations
Through this alliance, NGOs endeavors to enrich the lives of PWDs by creating a world of opportunities for them to lead happy, satisfied lives. DNA proposes to safeguard the rights of PWDs with the following offerings through the NGOs
- Better reach
- One stop source for information on this sector
- Influencing acts, policies etc. for Persons with Disabilities
- Raise wider awareness on the importance of equal opportunities and inclusion of PWDs
- Enabling NGOs get more funding for their work and work on better efficiency
- Promoting professionalism in this sector
- Bringing accountability in utilizing funds for this sector
- Promote best practices for enhancing Reach & Quality
- Greater network & collaboration among NGOs
- Engaging parents &PWDs at various levels to influence change and build a positive mind set
- Promoting disability work through new groups & forums