Association of People with Disability runs ‘Slum Project’ aiming to spread right messages about Covid
With their new ‘Slum Project’, members at The Association of People with Disability (APD) aims to reach out to over 6000 people living in slums, with and without disability to spread awareness about Coronavirus and increase Covid tests. The project has been going great in and around slums of Bengaluru where it is currently being implemented.
The Association of People with Disability (APD), a leading NGO headquartered in Bengaluru kick-started their ‘Slum Project’ in October. The prime motive was to create awareness about Coronavirus and increase number of Covid-19 tests in slums which also means offering a helping hand to the government. Their venture has reached out to hundreds of people with disabilities in and around Bengaluru. APD’s target remains to hit 6000 by December when the project comes to an end.
The Association of People with Disability, reaching out to the needy
APD was founded in the year 1959 by NS Hema who was affected by polio. Being a disabled person, Hema knew the many hardships faced by the community owing to which she decided to step up and do her bit. Today, APD claims to be one of the oldest NGO’s that work for the disabled community. Headquartered in Bengaluru, APD works across 14 districts in the state.
They have various programs for disabled people. One of it is rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries which functions in their center in Bengaluru city. They have programs for early intervention between 0-8 years, provides inclusive education up to 18 years, livelihood projects to train disabled people to start their own businesses and also horticultural training program for people with disabilities. Through their community health programs, APD provides psycho-social help to those in need. Their team also works in policy advocacy matters and implementing disability laws.
One of their prime programs is disability awareness school projects. Their team works with schools, both government and private to pass message of inclusion amongst children and teach them how to support disabled people. They also teach Indian Sign Language.
The much needed ‘Slum project’
Karnataka, being one of the worst affected states hit by Coronavirus could definitely use help from NGO’s. That is just what APD is doing. Through their ‘Slum project’, their team aims to reach out to 6000 people with and without disabilities. APD is working along with BBMP to help government in testing for the virus, providing awareness sessions in slums, dispelling myths and protecting a very vulnerable community.
“There are kids and adults with different types of disabilities in slums that we visit. If we spot one, we choose them for our programs depending on which one they fit into. We also help them get government benefits and provides them with rehabilitation service”, says Madhusudan, Senior Manager, APD.
Ever since the past six months, APD has been wanting to do something to help people and the government. That is how the ‘Slum Project’ came into being. It began on October and will go on till December. “We were worried about rising reports that the slums were being affected badly by Covid. We did surveys and wanted to join in as Covid warriors”, says Madhusudan.
BBMP falling short of testing is what prompted the team to step up. They gradually won trust and support of slum dwellers. APD also had the support of religious institutions. Like local mosques used to announce about need to protect every person from Covid and safety guidelines during prayers. All this helped APD get the message out in a better manner.
Madhusudan adds, “The response has been great and encouraging. We plan to implement this in other places too. We are trying to reach out to more people now”.
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