GUWAHATI, Feb 4 � Forty-four leaders from across the North-east working in the field of rehabilitation of persons with disabilities have come together here to reflect on the formation of a North Eastern Regional Organisation of Persons with Disabilities. Its members will be all the persons with disabilities belonging to the DPOs formed by the partners of the CBRF.
This idea of a regional organisation was mooted at the North Eastern Regional Level Programme of Disabled People�s Organization (DPO) organised by the Assam Centre for Rural Development on the premises of the North East Diocesan Social Service Society, Joypur, Kharguli.
The Community Based Rehabilitation Forum (CBRF) was formed in 1996 to facilitate the inclusion of persons with disabilities ensuring their full participation in family and community life. Reaching out to all categories of persons with disabilities, as recognised by laws of the countries, the CBRF touches the lives of 31,841 persons with disabilities by joining hands with 65 NGO partners spread across 17 States and one Union Territory.
With regard to the North Eastern Region, the CBRF commenced its work with persons with disabilities in 2001. Today it touches the lives of 5,009 persons with disabilities spread across six States of the North-east through its partnership with 22 NGOs. The CBRF started its work in the North-east through promotion of community-based rehabilitation aimed at the inclusion of persons with disabilities in education, health, livelihood and the socio-cultural area. Later, in view of helping persons with disabilities to make their own choices and decisions, the CBRF and its partners formed them into village, block, district and State-level organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs). It may be noted that these DPOs are at various stages of formation in different States of the North-east.
According to the organisers, once the North Eastern Regional Organisation of Persons with Disabilities is constituted, DPOs from villages to the block level will concentrate on building the confidence of persons with disabilities and supporting their members to access government programmes to meet their needs. Those from the district to regional level, however, will focus on sharing experiences and bringing uniformity across the district, State or region in the implementation of the Disability Act and related schemes. It will do this by recommending changes to existing policies and supporting the Government and other stakeholders to take the provisions of the Act and policies forward at the ground level.