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Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

“You were born with WINGS, why prefer to crawl through Life?”
- Rumi

The social constructions of disability confines the disabled to a space of liability by their families and society. But slowly there are paradigm shifts in the overall approach. Persons with Disabilities are no longer viewed as pitiful recipients. Nowadays the police as well as laws on both national and international basis accept their equal rights. Unfortunately this shift can’t be seen on the “ground level”. A detailed survey in 13 villages revealed the number of persons with disabilities: more than 630. Aatapi's aim is to help the them realizing their potentials to become contributing and accepted members of society.

Aatapi focuses on building the skills and competencies, access their rights and entitlements and organizing them in community based institution to live a dignified life.

 
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Accessing Rights and Entitlements

Awareness of their rights as equal citizens is the first step in improving their self-esteem - persons with disabilities have to be aware of their rights as equal citizens. Aatapi spreads awareness amongst persons with disabilities, their families and community about their rights and entitlements through posters, awareness rallies by school children, video shows and exposure trips. 

 
Strengthening of Viklang Parivartan Sangathan (VPS) - A Block Level Advocacy Group

Persons with disability will have to rise above individual needs and strive collectively to negotiate and redefine their space at all appropriate forums. Aatapi is facilitating this process by enabling the formation of advocacy groups and identifying and training leaders at the village level. Viklang Parivartan Sangathan (VPS) is advocacy group initiated by leadership of persons with disabilities in Jambusar Block. They are working for social, economic, cultural development of persons with disabilities in their area. Their focus is on Aatapi is supporting them in organize as value based institution, building capacities of leaders and networking with Government, Non Government organizations, corporate for supporting the persons with disabilities to live dignified life. 


Livelihood Opportunities

Financial independence and contributing to family income creates a confidence and purposefulness in anyone's life especially a person with disability. Aatapi is striving to create role models through creating, strengthening livelihood opportunities in diverse ways. Like strengthening traditional sources of livelihood (Agriculture and Animal Husbandry), entrepreneurship development in small business owners, skill building for self employment, job placement linkages.
 
Sports for Inclusion and Recreation
 

Inclusion in sports improves self esteem, encourages team spirit and friendship among the disabled people arise. This is the reason, why Aatapi engaged persons with disability in various sport activities that gave them an opportunity to get out of their villages and both test and stretch their potentials.

 
Creating Models of Physical Rehabilitation 

There is need to create awareness and acceptability of correctional surgeries and its benefits amongst persons with disabilities and parents of younger children with disabilities. Aatapi is striving towards establishing such models in community for others to draw inspiration and hope.  

Capacity Building of Community Based Leadership

Aatapi’s intervention area is of 15 villages but intervention with Persons with disabilities is spread beyond these 15 villages. This is the result of community based leaders taking responsibilities and spreading the program to other villages. However, capacities of these leaders need to be strengthened to address the needs arising from the community. Aatapi is facilitating this process through leadership strengthening program. The knowledge and capabilities of leaders is built through regular meetings, leadership workshops and exposure trips.

 
Future visions

Inclusion is the critical first step, to safeguard the dignity and self-respect of Persons with Disability in society. Aatapi will focus on creating platforms where they get the opportunity to participate meaningfully in society, assume leadership as role models and change agents. In the coming years focus will be on strengthening the leadership of persons with disability and strengthening Viklang Parivartan Sangathan to function independently. Aatapi will concentrate on inclusive and quality education for children with special needs with Government schools as a focal point.

24 December 2015
Celebration of International Day For Persons With Disabilities (3rd December) and International Human Rights Day (10th December, 2015)

Viklang Parivartan Sangathan (An advocacy Group of Persons with Disabilities, functioning in Jambusar Block) celebrated International Day For Pe...
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24 December 2015
Capacity Building of Ujaas Mahila Bachat Dhiran Grahak Sahakari Mandali

2 day capacity building workshop of Ujaas Karobari Samiti (Executive Committee) was organized on 11th and 12th December 2015. Sahiyar Jo Sangatha...
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