Community Based Services

In an alienating economic system, Basic Human Rights Services provided by unpaid care givers, need to be protected, supported and even paid for, rather than be preyed upon by formalised for-profit systems.  Traditional Education Systems, Family Health Care including child care, Local Social Security Systems would be an important source, after being vetted of unacceptable practices and being upgraded with new knowledge and referral systems.

Towards Rehab At Your Door-Step: Poverty Hunger and Disability – The Missing Link
The Third in a Series of Global Webinars
20 September, 2022

Video of Full Webinar: Moderated by Ms. Meenakshi Balasubramanyam, Senior Associate, Center for Inclusive Policy

Malleswari of Reddypalli, In AP testified how how her daughter was rehabilitaed after being being mentally disabled. She is member of the local Self Help group of disabled people.

Analysis of WHO Rehab 2030 Call for Action by Christy Abraham, Independent Development Professional

CBR in India, Radhika Alkhazi, AASTHA

Landscape Change in Primary Health: Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic, by Dr. Nimmi Rastogi
OBGYN & Infertility Specialist,

The Impact of Revitalizing Traditional Healers as Community Health Workers in Wound Management to Prevent Disabilities by Dr. Lauis Paluku Sabuni, Leprosy Mission, Congo

Testament by Padmavathi from Bukkarayasamudram, AP, India on how her son Narendra, a table tennis player was rehabilitated

Reducing the Treatment Gap for Mental Health Problems and Increasing Demand for Mental Health Services: Role of Lay or Non-Specialist Health Workers
Dr. Shital Muke, Sangath, India

Access to Assistive Technology in Rural Communities by Prof Dr. Luc diWitte, Global Alliance of Assistive Technology Organization (GAATO),

Launch of Advocacy Campaign, B. Venkatesh. 

Vote of Thanks: by Ms. Snigdha Sarkar, President, Disability Activists Forum,

"Hope in the Times of Despair"
A Panel Discussion
Introducing the Speakers and Sneh Aangan


Dr Wilona Annunciation, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Avinash Desousa, Consultant Psychiatrist Shernaz Doctor, Psychotherapist &  Counsellor
Main causes of Anxiety and Depression? Is depression the no.1 cause of Suicide?
the symptoms and common signs as per your experience of Anxiety/ Depression / Suicide in India?
Helplines and what is most helpful to people in distress 
Right time for referring the client for Psychiatric help and counseling?   Advice to people complain of repetitive and disturbing thoughts and don’t know how to stop them Reasons for family and friends to brush aside anxiety and sadness when observed in a loved one
How can we help people to be less rigid in their thinking? Coping strategies for people with anxiety,  depression?     How does one deal with survivors’ guilt? 
How has lockdown and Internet addiction increased the suicide risk in the younger population?  How far does the medication help in the stability of a patient? At what point do you need counseling support?  Counsellor's  role in extreme circumstance?
 What Is to be done!
Creating mental health awareness in the community as a preventive measure – would you like to briefly share with us how this helps?

Panel Discussion "Hope in the Times of Despair" organised by Sneh Aangan on the occasion of Suicide Prevention Day  on 11-September-2021 .
Speakers Dr Wilona Annunciation, Consultant Psychiatrist    Dr. Avinash Desouza, Consultant Psychiatrist,  Shernaz Doctor, Psychotherapist &  Counsellor, Moderated by Sonali  Sikdar
Google Playlist:

WHO Resolution on Persons With Disabilities Omits Mention of CBR – Why You Should Care 

'Community-based rehabilitation' attempts to ensure that persons with disabilities can live the fullest lives possible with the participation of those around them, no matter where they live.

A new decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to move away from a policy it initiated over four decades ago has surprised disability rights activists, particularly those working in countries of the ‘Global South’.

“What the WHO is saying now is that we are a health organisation, [and] inclusion is not our mandate,” B. Venkatesh, founder-convenor of the Indian Forum for Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology and president of the CBR Global Network, told The Wire. “That’s why the entire focus in the recent literature coming out of Rehab 2030 is shifting towards increasing infrastructure, more primary health centres, etc.”

“The Rehab 2030 agenda may want to make health-service delivery the same in all countries, but that’s not going to happen without the political will, and not for many, many years,” Venkatesh said.

Instead, to reach the most marginalised people, he suggested investing in communities. “You have to increase the knowledge and skills of people in the community, to provide care wherever they are. There is no universal health coverage without CBR. There’s no other developed methodology available.”


Consultation in Africa on the Inclusion of CBR in the WHA Resolution in May 2021






Opening Remarks B Venkatesh Preseident CBR Global, and Musonda Siame, Chairman CBR African Network: Exclusion of CBR in the in the WHA resolution will adversely affect  persons with different disabilities and other vulnerable population groups needing habilitation and rehabilitation services living in poverty.Community based interventions like CBR values community and its members and their contributions thus enabling them to become responsible citizens and this is an age old practice. Innumerable examples of this practice include the concept of “small is beautiful.


Policy Brief by CGN IFRA by Cristy Abraham 



“the Ask” in the policy brief CGN and IFRA membersendorse these activities with focus more on home-based and community-based rehabilitation services and hence, call for CBR to be universally applied across countries, not limited to pilot projects and limited geographic treatments. Systems to deliver CBR need to be established and aligned with the primary healthcare delivery structures in all countries; and to make best use of Organization of persons with disabilities, community volunteers and home based carers to expand the workforce, delivering the appropriate skills to these cadres. 



WHA resolution on “Habilitation and Rehabilitation for All” should be adopted in 2022.

The proposed resolution mentioned above should have a central emphasis on the role of CBR as a strategy for habilitation and rehabilitation service delivery, especially in low and middle – income countries. 


Concluding Comments

It is important to recognise the value of non-healthcare workers and supporting family

members for caring and including persons with disabilities in all walks of life. This needs to be fore grounded in policy, planning and programming. Self help groups and Organization of persons with disabilities associations of persons with disabilities, are the primary stakeholders for CBR, contribute to sustainability of the approach.  As Covid-19 grips the world, market economy have shuttered, schools have closed, and nearly half of the global population is confined to their homes. Yet millions of care workers step out every day to keep the lights on and support those in need, for very low wages. Majority of these care workers are women – nurses, community health workers, nursing home staff, sanitation workers, laundry workers, and others – whose work has been serially undervalued and underpaid.

However another army of unpaid workers, which has been been highlighted at the time of the pandemic, is home care persons, most of them women. When the second wave hit India, and the hospitals were jammed and de-oxygenated, the system had to rely on these home care workers to keep mild patients from crowding hospitals. The medical system has long ignored the contribution of home care persons mainly women.. moms, wives, sister et al. It is time that this work is recognised and supported. By way of general education, and perhaps an insurance scheme which compensates them when they have to stay at home for medical emergencies and loose their pay in office. Perhaps even a locality based "civil defense" type of system.

Even in normal times, the hospital needs one person to stay at the side of the patient, because the system put a strain on the nurses and the equipment if they have to monitor all patients.

There is one group of organisations which have demonstrated a workable system. They are the so called disability sector. Their Programme "Commmunity Based Rehabilitation" pays particular attention to the needs of care givers at home. In fact this month the WHA is supposed to meet on the Health for All resolution, where for the first time the disability section does not have a mention of the Communiity Based Rehabilitation.

For more on COVID..



National Consultation on the Inclusion of CBR in the World Health Assembly Resolution
on `Attaining highest standard of health for persons with disabilities’

The Opening Session




स्वागत हे -



Presentation on the Policy Brief by Ms. Christy Abraham

नीति संक्षेप की प्रस्तुति



Discussions on “the  Ask” and “Recommendations”

कार्यकारी के "माँग" और सिफारिशें - अखिल पॉल:


कार्यकारी की "सिफारिशें" पर चर्चा  :





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