In 1988, a group of disability workers in Kolkata, decided to step off from the beaten track and venture into Community Based Rehabilitation, because they felt this was the only way to reach the unreached – Persons with Disabilities from economically marginalized sections of society, residing in rural areas. Two years later, the group led by Mr. Gautam Chaudhury registered themselves as SANCHAR AROD (A Society for Appropriate Rehabilitation of the Disabled).
In 80’s rehabilitation services in India for Persons with Disabilities at village level were practically non-existent. The available services were institutional, mostly city based and geared towards urban middle and upper class population. Distance and poverty made it impossible for poor Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) residing in villages to avail city based services.
The crying need of the hour was an appropriate community based rehabilitation programme / service for persons with disabilities based on their socio-economic realities and involving parents, family and community members, which would have an impact on social attitude and remove barriers at all levels for inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream society.
Initially SANCHAR started working in 20 villages of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal with few families.
Today in 2017
- SANCHAR’s Community Based Programme has touched the lives of thousands of persons with disabilities and their families.
- Through its Regional Resource and Training Division, SANCHAR has built capacity of around 200 organisations in 17 states in India and in neighbouring countries to promote CBR and inclusion of PDWs in mainstream development programmes.
- SANCHAR has actively been involved and contributed in collective movement of persons with disabilities and their families to ensure their human rights
- SANCHAR’s CBR model has moved towards a Disability Inclusive Community Development.