Realizing the tremendous scope for developing a comprehensive centre that could cater to the basic rehabilitation needs of the people with disabilities in the coastal districts, we’ve initiated this organization to empower PWD to join the mainstream.
Since few years our organization is providing small numbers of calipers, artificial limbs (prosthetics and orthotics devices), wheelchairs & rehabilitation services with local support. We are also approaching partnership with Bangalore based research and training institution called Mobility India to draw the technical support for starting the project.
Being a quadriplegic, after a road accident in 1997, Dilip Patro still works in his field, and passionate about providing spinal cord persons with the training and resources he had received in order to regain his own independence. The main reason on his abilities with his limited mobility is both my active rehabilitation and customized ADL appliances. After the injury, It has taken almost 10 to 12 years for him to find an appropriate mobility aids and appliances, at last he found at Mobility India. Thus TAP was conceptualized to provide appropriate mobility solutions and creating awareness for individuals/students/GOs and NGOs/PSUs on providing mobility aids and appliances complying WHO standard guidelines starting in Visakhapatnam.
We found the concept of professional rehab & wheelchair services is less known in India and the mode of providing artificial limbs & wheelchair is often through a camp without any professional services like assessment, prescription, fitting, training and follow ups. This has lead to poorly fitting of artificial limbs & wheelchairs, improper postures and lot of medical complications like contractures (muscles tightness at joint), spinal deformity, shoulder joint injury and pressure sores. Finally rejection for the same. There is a scarcity of personnel trained to manage the provision of such Prosthetic and orthotic devices and technologies, especially at provincial and district levels. In many settings where access might be possible, costs are prohibitive.
Some of the NGOs & GO’s working in the assistive devices and rehab services have access to some government aided program but are not utilized properly and efficiently. There are no follow up support to these services and most of them lacks professional involvement. The state lacks in quality professional services.
ALC, KGH an oldest Govt. general hospital and rehab center exists in the heart of the city. The Centre is supposed to cater to the need of the people who are poor with quality rehab services, create appropriate human resources in the field of rehabilitation. It is felt that this center is not able to meet the requirements. The rehab facilities are not appropriate and the technology followed is very conventional. The training facilities do not produces appropriate human resources to deliver quality services. It is a critical situation to asses where the people needing such services can access it. Most of the children and people with disabilities have to travel long distances to access small or big rehabilitation services. In most of the cases the parents will have to sacrifice their daily wages. It also happens that many families do not try to access such services due to factors like unavailability, affordability, and accessibility. The available services are also not up to the mark and are done by untrained personnel. The quality of life of most people with disabilities in urban as well as rural areas is not up to the mark.
We experienced during our workshops and camps the need for artificial limbs and wheelchairs. We donated locally available artificial limbs to the PWDs. We found that the beneficiaries are not using them as they are too heavy, not properly fitted, no follow up services. We were compelled to go to Bangalore and New Delhi for better assessment and appropriate material.
We could not cater many PWDs as they are very far off places. As they and their family are very poor& daily wage-earners, they cannot afford to take the best services available at far of places like Bangalore, New Delhi. So, we strongly felt the need to offer such services here at Visakhapatnam.
The Ability People, is working to start a live-in rehabilitation center in Visakhapatnam town for spinal cord injured persons and other persons with disabilities, as such a facility is lacking in coastal Andhra Pradesh, Southern India, as we understand.
This project aims to address the core problem in this region, insufficient and inappropriate mobility service provision for disabled people. The project is initiated with an aim to facilitate at least 3000 of the orthopedically handicapped and their social inclusion of disabled people from poor economic background. The primary objective of the project is to provide an economically sustainable, rehab aids and assistive devices, Physiotherapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) with Wheelchair Services support to disabled beneficiaries from low economic background, in the large geographical area not covered by professional centers providing rehabilitation services.