Community Based Rehabilitation (C.B.R) of the Handicapped:

KSSS has started C.B.R for physically handicapped and mentally challenged as a model programme forKeralaStatein 1997. It involves rehabilitating the person in his/her own *family and community with the cooperation of the family members, community, and use of various resources available within and outside the community. We train the disabled to live by themselves and to work according to their abilities so that they become contributing members in the family and in the society.


Disability Programmes in the organization

15th year in Community Based Rehabilitation of Disabled – 2012

Year 2012 is the year for the realization of a dream of KSSS. KSSS is completing its 15th year in the field of community-based rehabilitation of the disabled in its operational areas. For the past 15 years, KSSS had been actively involved in mainstreaming the disabled people in to the society.  We continue to give importance to the ability of the person rather than their disability. Our progarmmes aim to improve the quality of life of the disabled persons by promoting their integration in their community, by preventing them being marginalized and by assisting them to realize their full potential.  We have already taken up different projects for the community-based rehabilitation of the disabled with the assistance from both internal and external agencies.

The services we provide includes training the physically disabled to do his/her daily activities with the help of necessary equipments such as cane, specs, orthopaedic shoes, hearing aids etc. We train the mentally retarded to take care of himself/ herself without bothering his family members who have to generate income for him also. Thus, we train him to dress by himself, to take bath, to wash the dishes, to eat without any support, to wash his/her own clothes and to manage his daily life. Those who have difficulty in learning because of their impairment in hearing, seeing, going to school etc are offered special education either at home or at a regular school. The mentally retarded children are also taken to regular schools and taught in a special classroom. They will be trained for practical living according to their abilities. The training may involve learning the alphabet, recognizing colours, distinguishing different currencies, simple calculations etc. We have stared such training in five regular schools. This enables the regular children to make friendship with the mentally retarded children. Thus the disabled children who were once isolated gets love and acceptance from normal children of his/her own age group.

4.2) Self Help Groups for the Disabled

As part of the community based rehabilitation programmes, we have been organizing SHGs for the disabled people in our operational villages.  They meet once in two weeks, share their problems, offer mutual support, and start income generation programmes for self-sufficiency. The SHG members include the disabled persons and their parents. So far we have organized 60 SHGs for the Disabled people in 60 villages of our operational districts

The district wise profiles of SHGs of people living with disabilities promoted by KSSS are as follows:

District No: of Villages No: of SHGs Women Men Total
Kottayam 44 44 476 317 793
Idukki   9   9 191 137 328
Ernakulam   7   7 179 121 300



As part of the community based rehabilitation of the disabled people in our operational villages we have initiated a rehabilitation center called AGAPE BHAVAN at Cherpunkal, Kottayam. It also serves as the regional center of KSSS. The center is functioning as the day care center of the disabled children’s rehabilitation programme, gathering center for the self help group members, planning meeting for the staff and a crèche for the children below five years. The center is providing continues training to the 35 disabled children from various villages.  Each day the disabled children have been getting exposure on variety of topics such as language secessions, arithmetic secessions, general knowledge, games secession etc.

Self sufficiency of the disabled” is our goal. Hence, we try to offer job-oriented skill training and help the person to take up income generation programme of his own or to co-operate with the income generation programme of his family members. A vocational training unit which is exclusively for the disabled people is functioning in the Agape Bhavan. It consists of book binding unit, paper and cloth bag unit and handicraft items unit. 14 disabled people are employed in the different units.

4.4  Leadership Training: The selection of group leaders in CBR SHGs in a democratic process. From each group 5 members were elected to be office bearers or leaders. These elected leaders were given 3 days residential orientation. Special training was given to write reports and maintain books of accounts in the groups. The trained and empowered leaders gradually take charge of the group programmes and lead the disabled to the main stream of the society. The leadership training helped the leaders to acquire more skill in-group management Federation of CBR groups is an essential component for the networking of groups in project level. The five elected members in the group are executive members in the federations. There are totally 200 such executives members from 40 villages. The project level federation leaders are selected to monitor and evaluate the CBR activities.

4.5 State Level Symposium: Every year a state level symposium was organized with an objective to give awareness on CBR and to promote the same for the integral development of the disabled children. The direction and coordinators of all institutions involved in the care of disabled were the participants of CBR. Discussions and planning sessions were organized in which their responsibility and role were discussed. For the better coordination of programme in the state level we formed a committee of the participants named “SAMANWAYA” which means convergence. It helps them to gather together periodically and work together and bring out better results. It helps them to bring collective published our documentary regarding CBR. We published it in the malayalam and English Languages.

4.6 Awareness Programmes: The concept of community-based rehabilitation is new to the villagers. To introduce CBR programme and to create an attitudinal change towards the wrong conception towards disability, we organized community awareness programmes for all the villagers. The various causes and type of disability and its preventive measures behavior problems, problems faced by parents were explained to the villagers in detail. This changed the perception of the villagers. Also the community awareness programmes helped to ensure the community involvement and participation in the effective implementation of the programme.

4.7 School awareness programmes: Every year we are organizing awareness programmes in the villages and schools in the project village. Along with students teachers are also included in the training. The present education systems make students more materialistic .Teachers has forgotten the role of molding a good citizen. It is an age of unhealthy competition in all the aspects of education .As a result of it’s they ignore the fellow human beings. The relationship among siblings is broken due to the impatience which arises from the competition. The disabled children are always disregarded as they are not competitive with normal children. Along with students teachers were also included in the training. The programme was mainly focused on the children who are in 9th to 12th standard .Through the programme the teachers and students were got awareness on communication with disabled children, what are disability and its causes and what they can do for disabled .The classes were handled by the KSSS team members who is having more experience in the subjects.

4.8 MCH programmes: We are conducting mother and child health programmes combining two villages each.  All the SHG members, especially mothers of young women were focused in the training.  We organized Mother and Child Health camps in all project villages. The programme was organized in association with Little Lourdes Hospital, Kidangoor andCaritasHospital, Thellakom, local PHC and the doctors took classes for the participants. All the SHG members, especially mothers of young women were focused in the training.  Mothers were enriched with care and precautions in pregnancy, prenatal, and Postnatal. They were also trained in preparation of nutritious food and immunization programmes for children. The programme also helped us to identify the disabled in the villages. Subjects like care of pregnant mothers, child rearing, care of lactating period and preparation of nutritious food for children.

We also mobilized all young children below the age of five for the free vaccination organized by the government.

4.9 Medical Camps: We have organized central level medical camp for the mentally retarded children as well as physically handicapped children.299 Mentally Retarded children and 212 physically handicapped children were participated in the camp. The doctors fromCaritasHospital, Thellakom were taken the leading role in medical assessment of the children. Those who need further treatment were referred to the Hospital. They have been getting treatment assistance from concerned department. During the medical camps parents also were invited and they were given awareness through the documentary prepared by KSSS on disability.

4.10 Medical Intervention: As a step to rehabilitate the disabled we have taken steps to over come the problems or to arrange alternatives to rectify the disability. In order to provide mobility for the disabled, we help the disabled to conduct surgery and provide mobility devices. The surgery was conducted at medical college, Kottayam. The hearing aid improved the capacity of the beneficiary. In this reporting period 103 people are under gone surgeries and all of them showed good improvement after the operation. One of the clients needs a follow up surgery for the complete rehabilitation. Due to the financial constrain disabled often denied of proper medical assistance, which can rectify their disability.

4.11 Formation of resource corners in schools: As an integration of disabled along with the normal children are resource corners in the village normal schools. This disabled children those who are self-dependable got a chance to study normal school along with normal children. From there they got special training in the separate class. The children got more time to mingle with normal children and learn from them .This helped the disabled to grow better and to changed the wrong attitude and fear of normal children towards disabled.

4.12 Celebration of World Disabled Day: KSSS as a step to promote the advocacy for the disabled has celebrated World Disabled Day on December 3rd .The group members organized various competitions and cultural programmes to make the day more colorful. In the after noon we organized a seminar on disability and rehabilitation .Rally with placards organized by the group was a great means for awareness creation. CBR meet organized in the regional level also was a mean to bring the disabled to the mainstream of the society.

4.13 Surgery: As a step to rehabilitate the disabled we have taken steps to over come the problems or to arrange alternatives to rectify the disability. In order to provide mobility for the disabled, we help the disabled to conduct surgery and provide mobility devices. We conducted 56 locomotion disability and 99-cataract operation. Also we have provided 106 hearing aids and 79 caliper shoes for the disabled for their mobility. The surgery was conducted at medical college, Kottayam. The hearing aid improved the capacity of the beneficiary.


4.14 House visit and village level Survey: Worker is visiting her every client periodically. Training is planned for each client depends on the density of the disability. Worker visits a child minimum once in a week and number of visits increases based on the need.  As the parents and siblings of the client’s get skilled in training worker reduces the number of visits and concentrates new clients. During the house visit, the field workers made village surveys for finding out the disabled in the villages and they shared the concept of CBR to the family members.

4.15 Staff training: Professional level training is very essential for those who are involving in CBR activities. They need deep knowledge on various aspects of disability. The fieldworkers got training of different aspects of disability such as Personality Development, Mental Illness, Pachayath Raj Act, Role of a CBR worker, Persons With Disability Act, Development-A modern perspective, Assessment of CBR SHGs  Besides, they were given follow up training so that they could update their knowledge and approach. Persons with Disability Act, Mental Health Act, Right Based approach, National Trust Act, Psycho-social problems of family members of a disabled person were discussed in the training.

4.16 Income Generation Programme

In this reporting period we have given 5 IGPs to the needy person .Income generation programmes like petty shops, fishing net and boat, sale of fish, quail rearing, poultry, cow, goat and pig rearing, making of newspaper packets, tailoring, boiling rice and marketing and production of soft toys. With regards to the goat rearing we have given the goat freely and the beneficiary has to give its kid to another group member and it is continued among the group members. Grants from Panchayath and donation from villagers also was used by the village development committee for the promotion of IGP.

4.17 Intensive Entrepreneurship development training to the project partners

KSSS learned from the past experience that the reasons behind the failure of the micro enterprises and other livelihood initiatives were lacking of scientific, process oriented and result based approaches & practices. Systematic planning and timely monitoring coupled with support services are essential right from the beginning of an income generation project. The major topics intend to covered under the programs were rural entrepreneurship development and action research, Assessment of unemployment and mitigation measures, Qualities of an entrepreneur, Planning and development of a micro-enterprise, Participatory study on opportunities and resource flow, Situational and market study, Project planning, Accounting and book keeping, Monitoring process and tools, Planning of the mitigation measures to address various issues, Agencies, institutions and organizations promoting micro enterprises, Syllabus of Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP), Feasibility study, Counselling. Etc. After four months, two-day follow-up training programmes also were organized to study and evaluate the success of the programme.

4.18 Basic Facilities Enhancement Programmes

i. Assistance for Disabled Friendly House

A livable shelter is one of the most basic amenities in human life. KSSS has been working in the project villages for the last 15 years. We have identified that many members in the Disabled community do not have livable houses and that this affects their normal life and their health. Even though they have houses, it lacks disabled-friendly facilities, which make the disabled members in that house immobile. We have supported 50 Disabled members for upgrading their house as disabled friendly. The beneficiaries were the members of the SHGs of Disabled promoted by KSSS. We were constructed houses with co-operation of panchayath under the scheme of “SUVARNA YOJANA” Self. KSSS provided technical guidance regarding the construction aspects and also training programme for panchayath officials. The beneficiaries adopted their own innovative and indigenous techniques at various stages of the works to make the repair processes cost-effective. The Self-help group members shared their knowledge in the construction aspects and rendered possible support by the labour to the partner self-help group’s members.

ii. Assistance for Disabled-friendly Latrines

Most of the disabled community members in the project villages lack sanitation facilities, which are friendly to them. This always creates problem in carrying out the routine tasks of daily living. We were assisted 50 selected members from the disabled community in the project villages for the construction or upgrading of latrines as disabled friendly. This was done by the panchayath itself; we were providing training to the panchayath officials for construction of disabled friendly latrines.

iii. Construction of Barrier–free facilities.

We gave assistive devices such as wheelchairs, caliper shoes, crutches, walkers and three-wheeler cycles to the disabled persons. But on evaluation of the usage of assistive devices; we came to know that most of the disabled persons are not using assistive devices because of absence of ramps in the houses and handrails in the toilets. So in this context we were constructed ramps, paths, and handrails for the needy disabled. We were constructed ramps, paths, handrails with the support of the Panchayaths; 50% of the total cost would be taken by the panchayaths and remaining would be taken by KSSS as part of local contribution.

4.19 Supply of Assistive Devices: Accessible means able to be reached or used. Accessibility is an important issue for all concerned with the built environment, especially for disabled people. An accessible environment is one, which allows people to move around safely, independently, and without restriction. This will increase their productivity and encourage their self-reliance. We have supplied assistive devices to the selected members to make them accessible. The assistive devices include wheel chairs, caliper shoes, wheelchairs, etc. These helped the recipients to move and to take part in social gatherings. It also helped them to contribute in the household matters and for doing their own personal things.

MINAMINI – A Unique Camp

A Two-day recreational camp designed for enhancing the Foundation, Technical, Core Learning and Communication skills the differently-abled children was organised at the central level in Chaithanya. Kottayam District Police Chief, Sri. C. Rajagopal IPS inaugurated the programme and the Kottayam District Collector – Smt. Mini Antony IAS presided the function. As part of the inaugural function, Sri. C. Rajagopal IPS went to theMunicipalPark, Kottayam along with the CBR children and turned it as a memorable event for everyone. Everyone had a great time to learn and enjoy. The main agenda of the two day camp focused on personality development, vocational skill training (handicraft work etc.), games and other activities.


Special Gramasabha was conducted at Njeezhoor, Uzhavoor and Manjoor villages region. The main objective of the meeting was to conscientize the villagers on the provisions for ensuring the rights of the disabled in the respective Panchayaths future action plans were discussed and planning of projects. Members who were part of this special meeting were Panchayath Presidents, members, Panchayath Secretary and CBR staff. It was an interactive session and included especially parents of the disabled members of KSSS’ CBR groups.