According to various studies, there are more persons with disabilities in middle and low income nations than there are in developed countries. The main reason behind this is the fact that disease trends are undergoing a drastic change all across the world, from infectious or contagious to non-communicable. Besides that, hike in life expectancy and improved health facilities are also some of the factors responsible. The countries that have a higher income are equipped with an integrated and well-established system of rehabilitation and identification for the Persons with Disabilities. However, the economically poor nations lack substantially in these departments.
PWDs residing in the developing nations of the world have to deal with several challenges, including those of political, educational, employment, medical and social nature. In India, the availability as well as delivery of rehabilitation services in various regions is still very limited. In fact, most of the services are confined within the boundaries of the cities. And a major portion of the disabled populace in our country reside in rural areas and there are many among them who live below the poverty line.
Now the thing which concerns us here the most is that the PWDs deserve these services, however the options through which the solutions can be made available are either few or yet to be implemented. The rehabilitation institutions which exist at present to care for the intellectual, speech, visual, hearing, multiple and locomotor disabilities are not enough. In fact, they are able to cater to only 2 to 6 percent of the entire disabled populace.
The only solution which exists for these problems is community based rehabilitation. CBR is a really accessible, cost-effective and flexible approach when it comes to addressing the needs of disabled people in settings that are lacking in resources. Several successful CBR campaigns have already been launched by NGOs for disabilities in India.
A typical CBR program in our country focuses on mainly 4 primary components – economic, social, medical and educational. Each NGO focuses on one of these components exclusively as per the capacity and resources available at hand. The present literature on CBR advocates a wide range of perks as well as challenges. Information available about the efficacy, methodology, coverage and scope of CBR is very limited. A high level of standardisation is extremely needed. The government has already started funding CBR programs, research and training for making the model more comprehensive and effective in India.