Community Based Rehabilitation of the disabled and the elderly people:
During development interventions in the villages, we came across the pathetic situations of the old, physically and mentally handicapped of the villages. Being unproductive, these groups are considered as unwanted elements, discriminated and rejected, even by the family members. Often they are teased, scolded and addressed by their physical disabilities. Superstitions regarding cause of disabilities add fuel to the fire. RDS organized Self Help Groups of PwDs in Wanaparthy and Pangal Mandals and conducted a good number of awareness camps on the subject. As a result there are visible attitudinal changes among the public towards the PwDs. Now RDS is concentrating on promoting network of these SHGs and other CBOs at various levels, for wider solidarity, unity and united action.
RDS is collaborating with other institutions and organizations in promoting awareness on HIV/AIDS. We conducted a survey in Wanaparthy Mandal and found that there are more than 100 HIV positive victims in the mandal. The alarming number of positive cases in the mandal forced RDS to organize wider awareness programs in more mandals. Now we are conducting awareness programmes on HIV/AIDS among the slum dwellers dhabas in highways etc. in Pebbair, Kothakota and Wanaparthy mandals.
Child Labour Programme:
Due to continuous drought in Mahabubnagar since more than 10 years, a good number of small and marginal farmers and agriculture labourers forced to migrate to cities in and out of state in search of employment.
This situation affected mainly children and in order to support the family they are employed the agriculture fields, hotels, industries and as domestic servants or turned to rag picking/begging by discontinuing the studies.Migration mostly affected the lives of Buduga Jangal community in Wanaparthy mandal. They are conducting a nomadic type of living in a most unhygienic situation, living in make shift tents, having no safe drinking water facility or proper food to eat.
Most of the huts where Rural Development Society (RDS) team has visited and found that 90% of the children are not enrolled in schools due to unemployment and poverty, their parents are not very much keen to sent them to schools. Groups and groups of children in the age of schooling are involved in rag picking, begging or playing in front of their huts. They don’t have even proper clothing or elders to take care.
RDS conducted a survey in the villages and found that a good number of children (more than 600) are either never enrolled or school dropouts in Wanaparthy mandal. After taking the survey RDS approached DPEP/SSA, Mahabubnagar for starting RBC centre for this children and go to sanction for an RBC with strength of 50 children for running the centre, RDS rented a function hall which can be easily accommodated 250 members.
All the local government officials, peoples representatives and the general public supported RDS for the smooth running of the RBC centre. Health department and private medical practitioners has taken care of the health needs of the children. Some Good Samaritans came forward to donate uniforms to the RBC children.
Apart from the literacy improvement, mental and physical developments of the children where also taken care of. It was mandatory to practice yoga in the centre with the guidance of experts and cultural activities and sports also got its importance in the centre. Our children performed cultural activities during Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations at RDO’s office, Wanaparthy by competing the private school children and won prizes and appreciation from the public.
In the month of June 2005 the entire 50 children enrolled in regular school as per the performance in the qualifying examination. 4 girl children got admission in Girls Residential School at Gattu. All the other children except 9 ST girl children all the 41 students got hostel seats and those 9children got accommodation in the RBC centre itself. In the month of July 2005, the second batch of students joined the RBC school and they are already enrolled in regular school as per the performance in the qualifying examination. All the 50 children were enrolled in school and application is already given to the concerned hostel wardens for hostel seats.
Mission For Elimination Of Poverty In Municipal Areas(MEPMA)- disability Programme:
We are currently working with the government of Andhra Pradesh in Mission For Elimination Of Poverty In Municipal Areas(MEPMA)- disability Programme. We areidentifying and mobilising of disability persons into SHGs at poor settlement level.For this purpose,RDS is led by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors, as well as a Professional Advisory Board that is made up of area physicians and professionals.
The current programme has been in progress since September 2008, and has effectively resulted in forming 28 Self Help Group (SHG) and mentally retarded parents groups. We were able to provide helping aids to the physically handicapped and train and bus reduction passes. The programme is currently in operation and we are in front of schedule.