The Social Inclusion Project
Project Duration: Since November 2016
Project Partner(s): Sightsavers
Project Region: Gudalur, Udhagamandalam, Kotagiri and Coonoor Blocks of the Nilgiri District, Tamil Nadu
Target Group: People with disabilities
Principal Objective: Integration of people with disabilities into society
Due to the success of the former Community Eye health & SNEHA project of CTRD and Sightsavers for the blind people and people with visual disabilities, a new project was introduced in November 2016 to extend the scope of activities to different disabilities. This new Social Inclusion Project involves individuals with various disabilities such as visual, hearing, walking or speech disorders, who are not able to fully participate in society. In order to promote social inclusion, CTRD and Sightsavers set up a number of Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs) for the different disabilities. These targeted Self Help Groups are made up of a team of people with the same disabilities and are partially complemented by family members and experts to assist them with particular issues. These Self Help Groups aim to provide the participants a space for mutual exchange, to share their experiences and to strengthen each-other. Further, the project includes self-help activities, which individuals with various disabilities attend to share their challenges in society to receive support from a broader range of people to strengthen their capabilities to participate in society. Another goal is to eliminate middlemen in the process of providing helping tools through public schemes for disabled people. Often, these items are not directly distributed by the government, but are channeled through middlemen, who charge money for handing them over. Therefore, CTRD and Sightsavers empower people with disabilities and organizations supporting them, to collect all items provided by public schemes directly from government institutions and not to involve middlemen.