Ektha Foundation is working to being greater visibility to people with neurological disabilities
Founded in April 2000, the Ektha Foundation reaches out to people with neurological impairments. At the time, there was no group or organization looking into the needs of people with neurological disabilities.
Given how people with such impairments are marginalized even within the disability sector, a need was felt to start an organization dedicated to their needs and rights.
Also, the needs of people with neurological impairments are different from those other disabled people, so this became a critical need.
Their voices are not even heard in the disability sector leave alone the general community. Their needs are different because neurologically impaired people have multiple disabilities and no single person with neurological impairment
is similar to another person with neurological impairment. – Rajiv Rajan, Co-founder, Ektha Foundation
The nature of the disability varies from case to case for people with neurological impairments. In some, they are cognitively affected, while in others, the disability is so severe that even venturing out is not easy.
Their isolation and neglect is quite evident in the fact that even in self-help groups of disabled people, the neurologically impaired are not involved.
Today, the Ektha Foundation is a part of many national and international networks. These include Disability Rights Alliance India, Vikalp Sangam, Para Sports Foundation, and the Asia Pacific Disabled People’s Organisation-United.
Ektha is also involved in a big way in promoting the popularity of Boccia, the only sport that can be played by people with developmental disabilities. They are organising a Boccia National Championship in Chennai next month.
Ektha Foundation’s goal is to send a team from India for the 2020 Paralympics. To get more people hooked to the game, Ektha organizes Boccia competitions in special schools.