From disability to stability

For CRUSADE, working with the poor and transforming their way of life has been the main objective. CRUSADE was very keen to incorporate disability issues in poverty reduction strategies and programmes.

CRUSADE’s first step into paving the way for the people with disability began in 1988.

Initially, CRUSADE formed two groups to facilitate the people with disability at Panchayat level to exercise their rights. The groups were established, one each in Sholavaram and Neithavoyal with 10 and 14 persons respectively. CRUSADE provided help in opening their bank account and arranged transport for the groups to visit the District Collector on individual as well collective capacities.

Today these two groups have grown into 30 and the number of members is 324. Of these, 12 groups have opened savings accounts in banks.

  • The members, through the loan given from a Revolving Fund created for the purpose which is managed by the Trust have set up cycle repair shop, petty shop , food shop, cloth business , tailoring & provision stores.
  • Eight families of disabled persons (including one person with mental illness) have been helped to renovate their house with replacing the thatch roof.
  • One woman member with disability is regularly provided medicines for her other health complications.
  • Block level Federations of Special Groups are being organized.

Opening new doors, changing lives

“I would have found it difficult to get a job with my orthopedic problems. With CRUSADE’s help, I was able to buy a cow and calf. The cow gives 3.5 litres a day, enabling me to make a profit of Rs 50.00 per day” – Dayalan from Kumarsirupakkam in Tamil Nadu.

CRUSADE follows the following methods to work towards disability in the community:

  • Identification - In the project area comprising 130 villages in two development blocks, CRUSADE has identified around 970 differently- abled persons including those who are mentally challenged.
  • Training on rights of disability - With the support of resource persons from similar NGOS, CRSADE organises a series of training programme for the staff, volunteers and disabled persons themselves.
  • Assisting in obtaining government schemes - CRUSADE extends transport and other logistic assistance to the differently abled persons to obtain National Identity cards after a medical assessment of the extent of their disability at Government Disability Rehabilitation Centre at Chennai. Once they get the cards, CRUSADE helps them to petition the government for various benefits such as monthly disability allowance, grant for income generating activities and appliances such as wheel chairs & hearing aids.
  • Various Government Schemes availed by the differently-abled persons
    The numbers are cumulative for the period from Up to March 2013)
    • 643 differently-abled persons have obtained National Identity cards
    • 145 mentally challenged persons get monthly maintenance allowance of Rs 1000 per month
    • 50 aged and differently-abled persons receive old age pension of Rs 1000 per month
    • 5 Orthopedically differently-abled persons received sewing machines.
    • 38 have received income generation grant of Rs 10,000 each linked to bank loans
    • 8 received hearing aids
    • 20 received wheel chairs
  • Providing proper and affordable medical care – CRUSADE with a qualified Physiotherapist who examine persons with Orthopaedic disability and train them and their parents in proper exercise for limbs . It helps them in increased mobility. The physiotherapist also assess the medical intervention such as surgery required and refer them to specialised Institutions such as Balaji Institute of surgery and rehabilitation at Tirupathy( AP).
  • Creating income generation opportunities : CRUSADE provides low interest loans from a Revolving Fund managed by the Trust (Pudumai Pengal Iyakkam) to begin income generation activities to differently-abled persons. They run small grocery shops, eateries, cloth business, tailoring and undertake cycle repairs and rear goats which generate a reasonable income for their needs.
  • Renovating houses

    CRUSADE offers financial support to differently-abled persons whose houses are in dilapidated stages. The families contribute a small percentage to the cost of renovating such houses.

    CRUSADE’s efforts have benefitted approximately 20 Number of families both from Minjur and Sholavaram districts.

Padma’s house before renovation
Padma’s house after renovation

Read our stories to learn more about CRUSADE’s work with the differently-abled persons and the impact it’s bringing in their lives.

Jaya, a widow, with a daughter who is mentally challenged stand in of their house being renovated by CRUSADE. She works as a packer in a supermarket in a nearby town. Her daughter gets her monthly disability allowance of Rs 1,000.

“Since our house is on a bank of a canal, during rainy season we found it very difficult to live in. With CRUDAE’s support, I am glad to have a safe roof over my head.”

CRUSADE forms special groups for people with disability to lift them from the poor condition they live. Reddypalayam special group started in November 2010 with 14 members. The group meets once a month, each saving Rs 50, which is used as loan for member’s needs.

Krishnaveni and her husband Rajendra share their joy and happiness in a special way. They are a hearing and speech impaired couple. CRUSADE, after learning their difficulties, gave her a goat. Krishnaveni is enthusiastic about the progress and spends time taking care of her goat. This goat yielded a kid recently.