What's the situation like for people with disabilities in India?
Official estimates in India report around 2% of the population with a disability, although other reports suggest a much higher number. Unfortunately, they are still not fully recognized within the family or society. Family members, feeling ashamed, often keep people with disabilities shut away inside the home, limiting their exposure to the community.
What are we doing to help?
VFF supports people with disabilities by developing community self-help groups for people to share their challenges and work together for a more inclusive community. VFF also helps to address rehabilitation and medical service needs for the community. People with disabilities face barriers goin to school, as their families often don't see the value of investing in their education. VFF runs schools for the visually and hearing impaired, and provides access to schools for people with other physical disabilities.
Our programs have brought better quality of life to over 32,040 people with disabilities in India.
• More than 1,200 children with intellectual, hearing, visual impairment and cerebral palsy treated in 17 residential centers
• More than 31,000 people with disabilities have received small loans to develop their own businesses
• Hundreds of youths with intellectual disabilities have competed in the Special Olympics
• More than 2,000 orthopedic surgeries to support physical disabilities performed
• More than 450 women trained in the fair trade and equal opportunity workshops
The people we help
Lakshmi Devi is a born leader, but she wasn't recognized as one until she was already 20. Her legs and right arm stopped working when she was only one year old because of polio. Today, however, she is a strong voice for people with disabilities. Neighbors flock to her small store to buy candy, sort through spices for dinner or just listen to her advice. Each day she earns about 100 rupees (1.5 euros) profit, along with a monthly government pension, that allows her to live well and help her family.
In many rural areas of India, parents of children with disabilities are actually willing to help; they're just unaware of adaptive programs and services. VFF brings awareness of our programs, as well as government benefits, to rural families. Specialized schools and integrated schools provide support to students so they can realize their full potential.
Sports and Culture
Sports and culture programs enhance self-confidence, self-esteem and identity for at-risk youth, dalits, people with disabilities, and community members. Children and youth from different socioeconomic levels build long lasting connections and friendship through athletics. To encourage active participation, we connect youth to our facilities, which include 3 cricket fields, a track, 2 volleyball fields, 5 tennis courts, a soccer field, 2 field hockey fields, a gym, judo center and an auditorium.
In addition to sports, We encourage art education for children at risk of social exclusion. At-risk children develop theatrical performances adapted to the real problems they face in their lives such as child marriages, domestic violence, and selective abortion. Sharing their performance with communities helps to inspire change, sharing important messages through youth voices.
• More than 5,000 youth participate in sport activities per day
• 4,720 children receive art education
• 700 performances in 118 towns awareness on social issues such as child marriage, harassment, violence or gender-selective abortion