Through the ‘Disability to Stability’ project, CRUSADE, enables 2000 people living with disability to lead a life of dignity and self-reliance through:
This project expanded CRUSADE’s work, supported by Action Village India since 2008.
People with disabilities (PwDs) around the world, especially in developing countries, are among the poorest of the poor. Poverty and disability are strongly interrelated. Poor people are more likely to have a disability because of the conditions in which they live and their limited opportunities for health care. Discrimination compounds the problem. Women and girls with disabilities experience double discrimination, which places them at higher risk of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation. In India, people with disabilities are amongst the most excluded in society and although there is support available, it is still underserved in rural areas. CRUSADE has witnessed the rapid progress the state of Tamil Nadu is making in building infrastructure and enhancing incomes in general, but these developments have to date side-lined the poorest groups in society, especially disabled women and men, increasing their vulnerability.
‘From Disability to Stability’aims to reduce social discrimination against PwDs and ensure they are integrated into the mainstream of society, so that they can participate in daily life like all other citizens. CRUSADE has been supporting people with disabilities by giving them access to employment, allowances and aid from the state and providing better housing and medical care.
Physical bruises may take time to heal, but insults inflicted rarely disappear. Bhuvaneshwari is petite and exudes warmth. This 19-year old is soft-spoken and is always seen covering her left hand with a towel. She is so conscious that she will pull the towel even if it accidentally moves. Being ridiculed in school for her polio-affected leg and hand has left her with bitter memories. ‘It’s painful. The memories still hurt me – in school everybody avoided me. I mustered courage and completed my 12th standard,’ says Bhuvaneshwari overcome with emotion. ‘She had a high fever when she was eight months, and after that her leg and hand became stiff,’ explains her mother. Though Bhuvaneshwarai had undergone surgery, there was no recovery or improvements for her.
With CRUSADE’s support, Bhuvaneshwari now receives the monthly allowance of Rs.1000, which is of crucial help to this low-income family. With a disability certificate, Bhuvaneshwari can now access other government benefits as and when they are released. She has recently come out of her shell and found a job as a salesperson in a textile shop. Working has increased her confidence, and she hopes to move forward with her life: