Executive Director - Shahidul Haque
To establish helpless souls of the society as an economic, social and a political force, the organization known as SARPV (Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for the Physically Vulnerable) was formed on the 17th April, 1988. The field level activities started in 1991 with a skill training center for the orthopeadically disabled persons at Mohammadpur of the capital city. Necessarily it is a social product. Realization of disabled persons themselves during their pursuit of education and job in the existing reality gave rise to a movement named SARPV.
SARPV is termed as a movement rather than as
an organization because of its underlying philosophy to create
a new socialization of persons with disabilities through focusing
on the process of self-identification of disabled people in the
With such realization SARPV's goals and objectives are to:
Create awareness about disability issues in the society;
Promote social rehabilitation of persons with disabilities,
Provide persons with disabilities with skill and support,
Explore opportunities for betterment of socially disadvantaged and vulnerable persons.
For achieving the goal of this movement, SARPV considers that, Disabled persons getting equipped with skill and Expanded knowledge base of general people regarding disability are two major targets.
Within the scope of SARPV's activities, it facilitates disabled people's participation from decision making stage to implementation at the grassroots, and also disabled people's being experienced through involvement into the on-going process. Here women with disabilities are also encouraged to take leadership role and be spokesperson for themselves.
Project 1: Community Based Integrated Program for the Persons with Disabilities:
This project is funded by OXFAM and Canada fund for three years starting from 1995. The working area of this OXFAM funded program is Mohammadpur thana of Dhaka city in particular and whole Bangladesh in general in consideration of the awareness programs.
Project 2: HMSPS-Skill Center:
The second urban project under the supervision of a VSO volunteer and funded by ODA of the BHC has the prime thirst to develop a quality skill center for the persons with disabilities and to turn the center into an income generating enterprise for the organization. The center is attached with the head office of SARPV at Mohammadpur.
** RURAL PROJECTS:
Project 1: CBR CHAKORIA (Community Based Integration Process of the Persons with Disabilities):
PART-1: The part of the project of SARPV is aimed to develop a model of integration of persons with disabilities into socioeconomic activities being funded by Caritas-Netherlands.
PART-2: This ESCAP funded part is designed to document the above-mentioned integration process of persons with disabilities for use in the Asia-Pacific Region.
CBR Chakoria is run at the Thana of Chakoria in the district of Cox's Bazaar.
Project 2: Psycho-physical Rehabilitation of the Persons with Disabilities:
The very new project of SARPV, has been taken
just after severe tornado which hit Tangail district of Bangladesh
on 13th may'96. This program is jointly funded by Okinawa Colony
of Japan and Caritas Netherlands. Main thrust of this project
is assist the disaster survivors with disabilities, treatment
to prevent further disabilities of the severely injured persons,
distribution of supportive aids, trauma management, motivation
and counseling, and long-term rehabilitation of the persons with
disabilities, among the disaster survivors.
*** GENERAL PROJECTS:
SAPRV's general projects are meant for the organization's staff development including project-staff and the contribution of SARPV's experience to be made to the field of disability.
Project 1: Integrating Disability Issues into Community Development in Bangladesh:
Funded by CBRDTC, an Indonesian Organization, this project is mainly a collective effort aiming at wide-scale integration of disabled persons into existing community level activities. This project is implemented by four organizations namely BPKS, SARPV, VERC, VRSC. The project has its Secretariat at Savar, Dhaka.
Project 2: Employing a VSO Volunteer in Development of Skill Training Center:
Funded by the ODA of the BHC, this project is meant to look for prospective areas of trades and skills for the disabled people. The VSO volunteer is based at the head office of SARPV at Mohammadpur.
II . BACK GROUND OF CHAKORIA CBR:
Chakoria CBR has been originated from the relief program of SARPV in Cox's Bazaar district after the devastating cyclone in 1991. This was the first, following a natural disaster, that any organization has taken the initiative in order to alleviate the added trauma of disability. Though the main objective of the program was to render relief operation service among the disaster survivors with disabilities and severely injured persons. Because our existing relief operation system lacks disability concern as no measures are taken to prevent disability of the severely injured persons. The existing relief operation is confined only within distribution of food, cloth, and first aid. This program continued for long 6 month and at the end it we found it was quite difficult for us to leave the place. Because, to our horror, we found that, persons with disabilities played no role anywhere in society, not even in family in which they belong. They were helpless an disassociated fro the social life of the community, irrespective of their family status. Mere impairments caused handicapping situation for these people, let alone disability. At the end we have felt to informed of this situation of the persons with disabilities to the community and to local administration. SARPV has also realized that, people those who have got medical assistance and mobility support fro us, now, they need a long-term follow- up support to get back their self confidence to live with their disability. Considering all this socioeconomic aspects, SARPV has arranged one information sharing session with the community leaders, local govt., thana administration, district administration as well as ensured the participation of the cyclone victims with disabilities and who become disabled by the cyclone hit. This meeting had played a vital role in creating awareness in the Chakoria thana regarding disability.
Especially during the cyclone, we found following
were the major disabling factor:
_ Injury from C. I sheet (Tin),
_ Lack of disability concern of disaster response and preparedness;
_ One time treatment and mostly first aid;
_ Lack of follow-up of treatment;
_ Psychological trauma.
From our disability concern, first of all we
have tried to make people and policy makers understood not to
allow the C. I. sheet (tin) in the disaster prove area. Though
at the beginning it was quite difficult to make them understood
about the terrible affect of tin on human lives but last of all
we have succeed in this regard and also succeed in prohibiting
poor people to make their houses with tin.
Simultaneously, disaster preparedness program has been undertaken with a view, if proper step can be taken in due time then misery of sufferings can be minimized to a greater extent.
After completion of six month's relief operation in the said area in 1991, SARPV called a public meeting to inform of the community about the completion of its relief work. Then, Thana Administration, and local people shared that it is necessary to have a follow-up of the people who received service from SARPV.
In 1992, SARPV has been succeed to manage to undertake a follow-up program of the previous program under the financial assistance form UUSC. Besides, maintaining the follow-up services, SARPV started to develop self-help group of the persons with disabilities.
Mission of this self-help group was to empower the persons with disabilities and to ensure their participation in various activities of socioeconomic life of the community as well as to make community to accept the persons with disabilities as a part of the community. Initially, SARPV develop three (3) of self-help group of the persons with disabilities in three (3) unions under Chakoria Thana viz. Kakara, Fashikhali and Chiringa.
However, the staritng story of formation of self-help group of the persons with disabilites was not a happy one. SARPV had to cross a long thorny way and still far way we have to go. SARPV had to face so many odds and obstacles which came form the persons with disabilties, their families, from the community as well. Their prime concern was what they could do. Neither they can do any work nor they have any capacity to move. Then SARPV has taken some demonstrative measures to prove the ability of the persons with disabilities. For example SARPV has invited some persons with disabilities to visit its office to show that the initiator of SARPV is also a persons with disabilities. This in fact, has infused some influence among the persons with disabilities to change their attitudes regarding their own capacity and ability.
One objective of formation of the self-help group was to gather persons with disabilities in a platform , with an aim to aware the communities regarding existence of the persons with disabilities with dignity and values .
Develop self- confidence among the persons with disabilities that, they are also capable to lead their life like any other non- disabled persons the only need is to take the by their own was another key objectives.
The main objective is to ensure mainstreaming
societal life of the persons with disabilities. From here, journey
of SARPV to Community Based Rehabilitation has been started to
rehabilitate the persons with disabilities in their own community
and to develop them as a catalyst of community development.
iii. BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT CHAKORIA CBR:
As we have already said about three self-help groups of the persons with disabilities by the end of 1993 we have turned these three groups into three CBR unit under financial support from ESCAP. All the members of each unit has been provided with training on leadership, income generating activities and income generation projects has been started by many of the group members. By this time, SARPV started to learn know- how of integrating the persons with disabilities in the community development program as well as started to assess the need of persons with disabilities living in rural areas. This program is directed towards developing an integrated community development model based on the identified needs, demands, prospects, potentials, strengths, and weaknesses of the persons with disabilities and of the community as well. At present the number of CBR units stands at six (6) units.
ii. Goal of Chakoria CBR:
To develop a model for the development of the persons with disabilities by their active participation, community participation , networking with local administration, Government and other developmental organization working in this locality.
iii. Objectives of Chakoria CBR:
The objectives of Chakoria CBR is to:
Enable the persons with disabilities of the program area to lead independent life within their own communities with dignity, and self-determination;
Integrating of the persons with disabilities in mainstream life of the society;
Create mass awareness to change existing attitudes of the community to the persons with disabilities;
Document the project process and model so that the information is available to others;
Demonstrate to other development NGOs that integration of persons with disabilities within their existing developmental program is possible and beneficial to the whole community and that people with disabilities can establish and manage community development programs.
Developing, collecting and disseminating disability information to all concerned to bridge the information gap about disability field and ability of the persons with disabilities.
iv. WORKING STRATEGY OF CHAKORIA CBR:
Chakoria CBR will address several specific problems endemic to this area and much of the rest of Bangladesh. The focus of the program will be, through its CBR units to involve the persons with disabilities, their families and friends, neighbors, other developmental NGOs, in other words the whole community to uplift the position of the persons with disabilities. So the first step is to train these CBR units to be competent to reach the desired future. Here, SARPV will play the role of facilitator to help these CBR units to get help from and to help the community in need. Once these CBR unit will be trained up they will be able play the role of the catalyst.
Members of these CBR units will be able to assess what they need form other NGOs, community, they will learn to mobilize local resources to meet their needs. They will be able to motivate the NGOs working in the area to include the disability issue. For example, they can recommend the NGOs to include them in the different training, basic education and health and family planning program.
v. Strategy for Integration of the Persons with Disabilities into the mainstream life:
a. Acceptance and Integration of People with Disabilities
Community education programs about disability issues will be conducted in the program area;
The visible results of people with disabilities
changing their lives within the community will work to help other
community members understand that persons with disabilities are
human being with different problems in their lives that can be
The effect of an organization of persons with disabilities (SARPV) doing community development within each community in the project area will also effectively demonstrate the abilities of persons with disabilities;
Establishing relationships between the CBR units and local government bodies will increase the probability of long term involvement of government in efforts to assist persons with disabilities. (In one union in the project area the local official already has declared that 0.5% of their development budget will be spent for persons with disabilities).
b. Low Economic status of People With Disabilities
Income generation activities of Chakoria CBR will ensure that persons; with disabilities and their families will have an opportunity to increase their income;
Substantially, income generation activities will be increased by establishing savings programs for all members of the CBR unit so that, ultimately, their activities will be self-financed in course of time;
For widening of the scope and opportunity for the disabled persons to become more competent in job market, training on different trade skill will be imparted to them.
c. Integration of People With Disabilities in the Programs of Other Development NGOs:
The inclusion and use of other NGOs in this program will demonstrate to them, that people with disabilities can and should be included in their on going program. One example of this in the current project is assisting a pure drinking water project that is setting tube wells in areas where they will directly benefit people with disabilities as well as other community members;
Use of the program as a demonstrative model to show others how to include people with disabilities in their programs will help them to better understand the process and to increase the probability that they will do so in other parts of Bangladesh.
d. Lack of Knowledge:
Wherever possible the Chakoria CBR will work
to include people with disabilities ( both children and adult)
in the non-formal and formal education programs of other NGOs
working in the program area;
Train two persons with disabilities as non-formal child and non-formal adult teachers and have them train group members who are not able to enter other programs;
Train two members (using training resources from other NGOs) of each CBR unit as primary health care workers who will then train members of other CBR units and the community at large;
Train two members from the CBR units in basic
rehabilitation techniques using trainers ( it is currently proposed
that two SARPV staff will be trained as CBR field workers at PPRBM
Prof. Dr. Soeharso in Solo in 1995);
By means of the income generating program members of CBR unit will learn basic financial skills such as techniques of budgeting and savings.
e. Changing the Social System:
Establishing cooperative social groups for income generation activities will provided an alternative means of social and economic support for those involve in the Chakoria CBR. Others, who are not involved, may also learn from observing this process and start to establish cooperative groups of their own;
The ability to read and write will enable the participants of Chakoria CBR and those associated with them to better understand the world in which they live which is the first step to change it. Once they know that there is alternative and they are able to create additional alternative of their own, they will gain a measure of independence from the current social system.
f. Individual Assistance:
Wherever required for individual group members, specific disability related medical and rehabilitation assistance will be provided to members of the CBR unit;
Mobility aids such as wheelchairs, crutches, and artificial limbs will also be provided to members of the CBR unit;
Arrangements for special training by other NGOs of individuals with visual and hearing impairments will be made wherever possible.
Here 30% cost will be collected from the family of the persons with disabilities or from the community.
vi. Management of SARPV Chakoria CBR:
At present, Chakoria CBR has six (6) CBR unit in four union. Three units are heterogeneous in a sense it is comprised of male, female, juvenile, three units are homogenous in a sense that one unit is comprised of male , one is female and one is children unit.
vii. System of the organization:
Participatory system is practiced to run the
organizational operation to achieve the desired goal and objectives
of Chakoria CBR. Work plan is devised jointly by the program personnel
on the basis of suggestion came from the persons with disabilities
and from the community.
viii. Strategy of Chakoria CBR of Building Linkage with the Community:
One of the working strategy of Chakoria CBR is developing linkage with the community. Because the strategy of rehabilitating the persons with disabilities in the community by the community.