Volunteering for Persons with Disability

V. Kundu, IYV 2001 National UNV (NUNV) / IYV Project Officer, IYV 2001 National Committee India


Almost all public buildings and places continue to be inaccessible and non-negotiable for a person with disability, like special toilets, ramps, special signals etc.

Lack of proper education and vocational training opportunities for children with disability.

The pervasive attitude of discrimination and pity towards the differently abled rather than an empathetic attitude to their needs— they are a socially excluded lot.

Rehabilitation Services almost negligible in rural areas.

Lack of adequate humanpower to work in different areas pertaining to the differently abled.

Poor situation in terms of employment of persons with disability.


Conservative data estimate's that 70-100 million of India's population are differently abled.

One estimate mentions that India may well have about 30 million children with disability.

Less than 1% of children with disability receive education of any kind.


There is an enhanced need for more human power to work for the differently abled and provide rehabilitation services.

Retired teachers, ex-servicemen, housewives, students— all can volunteer for the persons with disability.

Focus should be to develop and deliver quality education at all levels:


  1. Young volunteers for the Persons with Disability in partnership with 'BROTHERHOOD'.
  2. An action study on coverage of disability by the Media in partnership with 'SAMATVAM'. Samatvam has also started a website on disability, empathyindia that is being projected as an information clearinghouse. (Samatvam is an initiative of team IYV India and comprises of mediapersons, researchers and other concerned individuals working for the disadvantaged)
  3. Making hospitals friendly to persons with disability
  4. Alternatives to mental asylum—An Action Study
  5. Schizophrenia Support Group

Initiative 1: Building Bridges of Friendship

The IYV team, UNV and 'BROTHERHOOD' joined hands & initiated a campaign to bridge the gap amongst the general population and the differently abled.

Young Volunteers for the Persons with Disability

Campaign focuses on school students, presently it is going on in more than 25 schools of Delhi.

Aim is to sensitise students, principals, teachers and school management of the general schools on various issues concerning disability.

To create an empathetic attitude among the teachers & students of the regular schools.

Efforts are on to take the campaign to other parts of the country in partnership with Rehabilitation Council of India, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

Interaction programmes between special & other school children have been evolved through an Orientation Interaction and Association (OIA) Model.

Campaign aims to create a YOUTH VOLUNTEER CORP for the PERSONS WITH DISABILITY. We believe this YOUTH VOLUNTEER CORP will provide much needed HUMAN POWER for mainstreaming the persons with disability.



Lecture sessions to orient the school children towards the physical, mental and psychological needs of the differently abled.


Interaction between students & their differently abled counterparts through socio-cultural interactive activities. Interaction with Achievers with disability.


We believe, that the above 2 steps will result in a long-term association.

Initiative 2: Coverage of Disability by the Media

In partnership with 'SAMATVAM'-a group of media persons & researchers (An initiative of team IYV, India) Journalists have got together to highlight different aspects and issues related to disability. A study is being undertaken to understand media coverage on disability issues. As a follow up, Disability Awareness Resource Kit for media has been planned. Efforts on to have more space on disability issues in the media. Webportal on disability initiated by Samatvam

Initiative 3: Making Hospitals Friendly to Persons with Disability

Numerous steps are being taken for creating a disabled friendly environment in hospitals. This can be done by providing:

Urgent need of the hour is to make hospitals disabled friendly

Incorporate Focal Points for Persons with Disability: 'One-stop' 'single-window' - clearance mechanism for answering questions regarding mode of treatment, tests done, medical counselling Manned by skilled doctors and other allied health professionals like nurses and trained medical social workers trained in special needs of the disabled

Initiative 4: Mental Health: Participation of community in rehabilitation of the mentally challenged

Plight of the mentally challenged people-excluded from society Need for active participation of the community in reintegration of them into society Halfway homes Vocational training for the differently abled to make them independent Participation of the family in the reintegration Training of health professionals to deal with special needs

Initiative 5: Schizophrenia Support Group

The negative effects of stigma includes: discouragement, hurt and anger, lowered self- esteem, disrupted relationships, negative labeling, less chance of employment

Support Group would facilitate increased awareness among the public by imparting community education through media

Involve community workers, students, psychiatrists, doctors, etc in the Group for early intervention and sensitization.


If out of one billion Indians

1 percent of us invest one hour in Volunteering per week we have 520 Million volunteer hours.

Even if 1% of them volunteer for persons with disability, the process of INCLUSION can be accelerated.

"If you are really keen to help people to achieve something good for themselves, you would never be deterred in your efforts or harmed in any way even if the whole world were to stand in your way. If you are devoted to the cause and are really selfless, the Divine Power in you would overcome any opposition"

Swami Vivekananda

For more information:


en Social Inclusion of Disabled Children in India
V. Kundu


enppt Volunteering for Persons with Disability (316K)
V. Kundu

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