The experience of work with rural community in
primary health care services had prepared a cadre of
committed health staff. This team took up the
challenge to work for the control of blindness, that
was endemic in the region. The community based
rehabilitation started in Chohtan in 2001, in Sam,
Jaisalmer in 2004 and expanded to Sindhari block,
Barmer in 2008. This programme experience made
them realize many specific challenges facing care and rehabilitation of disabled in the desert, the relation between drought and disability.
The main objectives of this programme have been to create awareness among community, identification of blind, eye care treatment and community rehabilitation. The team has been able to access state schemes meant for disabled, especially those relating to their social and economic rehabilitation and inclusive education for blind children. Programme core team has been innovative to develop its own processes of community involvement, designing survey formats for outcome monitoring.
The Project “Inclusive Education” (IE) with the support of Sight Savers International has been working towards Education and Rehabilitation of deprived visually impaired children. This project is benefiting disable children in eight blocks of Barmer district and three blocks of Jaisalmer district.
Work on care and rehabilitation of disabled in a region where recurrent droughts and social apathy had made rehabilitation practically unthinkable has facilitated communities to understand their responsibility towards disabled. Participation in the programme interventions have made community aware of the existing state schemes and given them confidence to access them.
Generous support by Embassy of Japan and
contribution by GoI. and Cairn Energy have helped
SURE develop a unique and only rehabilitation
centre for disabled children in the entire region. This
school for children with special needs, completed in
2011 has a capacity to house 200 children. Besides
this, it also has residential training facility for 50
All these programmes have been approved by Social Welfare department, GoR, NAB, GoI, Ministry of Human Resource, GoI and other concerned departments. Efforts are being made to create a core programme team as well foster networks with resource persons and agencies.