Organizing Annual Active Rehabilitation Workshop
The Ability People’s (TAP) partnership with ESCIP (Empowering Spinal Cord Injured Persons), USA & ISIC (Indian Spinal Injury Center), New Delhi, India raised awareness on Active rehab for SCIPs (Spinal Cord Injuries Person) annually. The rural coastal area where the TAP is based is very impoverished and the SCIPs are often very isolated and completely dependent on their families. Every year we organise annual active rehab meet and more than 200 SCIPs are attend and participating this two days’ workshop. Most of the SCIPs approximately 70-75% are daily wage labourers, contract workers, unskilled/semi-skilled employees and, above all, economically backward. Spinal cord injury itself is almost unknown except to those affected by it. TAP is now here in Visakhapatnam is to provide the resources, equipment and training to help these desperate patients and families to rediscover the joys and opportunities of life, and their potential for positive contribution to society. This has impact so many lives by rehabilitating their personal and professional life. Most of them back to their self-business and earning their livelihood. Now, many such Persons with paraplegics and quadriplegics leading live happy and productive lives.
Distribution of Active Wheelchairs/Tricycles/Supportive seating for Children:
TAP’s partnership with Motivation, UK has ensured that provision of wheelchairs are based on WHO standards. This ensures that disabled people have access to products that are of good quality, appropriate & usable and people are trained on how to use them. Due to this disabled people have increased function and independence, which has directly improved their quality of life. So far 150 peoples life have been influenced because of this initiative. By proper screening, assessment, fitment & training given to use an active wheelchair, now they lead an able bodied life style. Presently they are move out, enjoying a social life and lead an independent life.
Distribution of Prosthetics & Orthotics
The Ability people in association with Mobility India (MI), Bangalore has organized a Screening, Assessment & fitment programme in the city for the physically challenged people. During the programme we have identified and selected the beneficiaries who are economically backward, who cannot afford high quality and low weight artificial limbs and calipers. The identified beneficiaries has fitted and given training and at the three day workshop. This is the first program of its kind in the city where professionals – P&O and with complying WHO standards from MI, Bangalore has address the need of children and persons with disabilities etc. TAP which is presently expanding its horizons, to extend its service more effectively, by giving more sophisticated prosthetics/orthotics (mobility aids and appliances) for a better standard of living. TAP, distributed the prescribed aids to them taking in to consideration his/her requirements and needs. The distribution of these aid & appliances is part of the organization’s efforts to widen its services to the PwDs. TAP will shortly be conducting a camp with the technical support of its partner Mobility India (MI), Bangalore to distribute Prosthetics and Orthotics (mobility aids and appliances) to the beneficiaries.
Awareness on Mobility aids & appliances complying WHO standards
TAP has done extensive lobbying with the district Collectorate on the awareness of giving quality mobility solutions on wheelchairs. As a result of this, the district Collectorate has agreed to include a clause that the funds allocated for spending on assistive devices including wheelchairs will be given only to service providers who comply with WHO guideline. There are more than twenty thousands of disabled people in the district of Visakhapatnam who will benefit from this lobbying effort of TAP.
Networking & Advocacy on Right to Emergency care:
TAP collaborating with the city police for raising awareness on Right to Emergency care. TAP was started by a group of spinal cord injury persons headed by the director and founder secretary Mr.Dilip Patro, Software Engineer and a wheelchair user after SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) in a major road accident. SCI, brain Injuries or other permanent disabilities in road accidents or assaults, most of them can be avoided if proper care or first aid is given in time. Bystanders/General public intend to help are not aware of their basic rights in the hour of need and they are scared of police formalities & legal issues. Almost 90% of our registered members are accident victims, resulting in different types of permanent disabilities due to untimely and inappropriate first aid offered. If immediate action taken by the stake holders, coordinating and initiating with ambulance staff in the golden hours within the sixty minutes after the accident can save a life or avert a permanent disability. One of our core objectives is to create awareness and sensitivity for attitudinal and behavioural changes among the general public on “Right to Emergency Care”, In this regard we started Networking, Advocacy and Lobbying – in promoting the human rights a crosscutting issue in development. When Policies weaken, Rights must be strengthened. “Human Rights refer not just to personal civil and political rights, but collective economic, social and cultural ones too – New Internationalist”. With total guidance from DCP (Crime) & ACP (Traffic) we’ve printed the posters & pamphlets in both Telugu & English. With support from Rotary Clubs & local donors, we’ve displayed these posters in and around Visakhapatnam at various accident prone zones, Schools & Colleges, Commercial centers, Heavy traffic areas, Bus stations, Railway stations, etc. We had seen glory and pain in equal proportions but never lost our head to glory or self to permanent physical disability. Our effort on Right to Emergency care, has made bystanders to act prompt and helping without fear the accident victims. This has saved many lives and avoided permanent disability.
Wheelchair Sports Club:
The Ability People, Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide, USA and the National Trust, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India has collaborated to highlight the abilities of Persons with Disabilities through demonstrations of wheelchair basketball and rugby in Visakhapatnam. We’ve set up a wheelchair sports & games (basketball, tennis, rugby, soccer) in continuation of our efforts and programs to open new worlds of understanding for both the participants and the general population. Our effort assisted disabled people in and around Vizag in improving their mental, physical and social strength through active involvement in wheelchair sports by providing modern, competitive sports chairs for them to use in an organized adaptive sports program. We are happy to inform you, In 2014 South Korea is hosting the Asian Para Games. It is exciting to hear that wheelchair rugby is gradually making a breakthrough in Asia. They have invited India to create a wheelchair rugby team and come to Korea to play rugby. We would like to start a team here in Vizag, so that some of our players here have a chance to represent India in Korea in 2014. There are already teams forming in Delhi and Pune.
Toll free Helpline Service:
The 24 hour hotline set by TAP for SCI users has reduced the risk of secondary complications for at least 450 people. Most of the people are living in villages and don’t have access to quality hospitals and usually don’t travel to the city for medical treatment. This could create complications such as pressure sore, infection etc. which could be fatal if left untreated. The hotline scheme has reduced the risk of such complications.
The creations of this support network by launching a toll free helpline, appointing area wise coordinators, and volunteers. This will provides the momentum for lasting change. SCIs themselves will be recruited as peer mentors, coordinators, and sponsors. Periodically workshop/ counselling for new out patients will provide a way on community re-integration. There, long-term SCIP who have independent lives in the community, train and mentor those new SCIP and bridge the gap before they leave from hospital to home. While coordinating with local PSU, NGOs and providing SCIPs in underserved communities with wheelchairs or other basic equipment that solve immediate needs, TAP is unique in providing a long-term support network that connects SCIs to existing services, documents the demand for improved services, and ensures that those in need receive ongoing community support.