Community Based Rehabilitation

Conferring Care and Compassion

Work with PWDs takes on many forms like rehabilitative efforts, enabling access to governmental and institutional help, counselling, special schools, overcoming societal prejudices, fostering understanding and creating a peer-network of support and friendships .


Facilitating SHGs and Federation of PWDs

Providing Access to Special Education

Access to Rehabilitation

Life-skills Enhancement

RDT first started working with PWDs in 1985 when it partnered the Government of India's Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), which identified 55 districts in India to run an immunisation programme with Ananthapuram being one of them. The government was partnered by UNICEF in its national effort, and by RDT on the ground in Ananthapuram. At the time, Polio and Diphtheria, Whooping Cough and Tetanus (DPT) were found to be rampant in its project area.

The plight of rural PWDs, men, women and children, at the time was particularly dire. Shunned by general society, most were sorely mistreated by their families and caretakers.


Timely medical help, corrective surgeries and regular follow-ups were virtually unheard of. Instead, the usual experience was one of distress - tied up at home, abused by others outside their homes; most would not even be referred to by their names, but were instead called 'cripple', 'blind', 'lame', and other more derogatory terms. This was the average experience of a PWD in those days and with very little social lives, they had no sense of the larger world around them.

They were also not counted for demographically and socially - not included in census figures, unaware or not utilising their voting rights, had little or no political participation, didn't receive their dues like medical certification needed for accessing benefits, pensions etc. Neither were there any agencies to represent or help them and nor were they aware of how to access help. Banks were unwilling to give loans to PWDs, and if they were able to get some work, the pay would be extremely less

PWDs who could have benefitted from schooling and achieve some level of integration as functional adults in society were rarely afforded the chance to be educated as there were no special schools and certainly no inclusive education. As a result, literacy levels were abysmal among PWDs and they had no avenues to rise above their circumstances. And finally, infrastructural issues that affected poor settlements, such as poor transportation facilities, were even bigger obstacles to PWDs and their families in enabling access to the wider world.

In 1987, RDT partnered with the UK based NGO, Action on Disability and Development (ADD) for mainstream disability programmes in India. Mr.Venkatesh from ADD India, who himself was visually impaired – worked with RDT for Persons with Disabilities. Under his leadership, PWDs from over 20 villages were grouped into 10 Sanghams, which were groups that facilitated their personal development. Being totally dependent on others meant that most PWDs had little or no financial independence. Women with disabilities were further harassed through violence, torture, and in many cases, sexual abuse at the hands of their own caretakers or random strangers for whom they were an easy target.

As per the 2011 Census of India, 2.68 crore people (54% males and 46% females) in the country have some or the other form of disability, of whom 15.13 lakh reside in rural Andhra Pradesh (at the time, Telangana had not been formed).Loco-motor disabilities represent the largest number of people at 23%, followed by sight-related issues faced by 17% of the total. Hearing disorders account for 13%, and 27% across speech disorders, mental illnesses, retardation and multiple-disabilities. Nearly 20% of the PWD populace are classified under 'Any Other' which leads to the assumption that data collection among PWDs is still imperfect and being refined.

The government is making great strides in classifying and recognising PWD's rights, and the CBR team's efforts ensure that poor rural families having PWDs, and PWDs themselves get access to these rights and to equal opportunities in all possible areas of development.



RDT strives for the inclusion and rehabilitation of PWDs across


RDT provides educational, medical, social and economic support to Persons with Disabilities.


I will work hard, write my entrance exams, and become a doctor to serve my village people.

RDT’s concerted efforts in Community Based Rehabilitation programmes have met with positive receptivity over the years. Each programme is extremely streamlined, drives specific objectives and has over the years achieved tangible results. The long term goal is that PWDs overcome discrimination and lead a better life. In order to achieve this, RDT will be focussing on upscaling existing initiatives

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