Being born disabled in a poor country like India means surviving in a condition of serious social exclusion, without proper personal care —both in terms of hygiene and nutrition—, without any access to education or basic medical care.

In order to reduce social isolation and negligence characterising the lives of most disabled children, the project aims to support a day-care centre in Baruipur, approximately 30 kilometres from Kolkata. The centre hosts 50 children with physical and mental disabilities together with their parents.

The facility offers access to a physiotherapy room, another room to carry out physiotherapy exercises with specialised equipment, a swimming pool for aquatic physiotherapy, and an outdoor common area where mothers and children can socialise and spend time together.

Physiotherapy for disabled children in India

The main activities in the centre are:

  • physiotherapy (manual therapy, with equipment, in the pool) with patients’ records being constantly updated, as well as nutritional support (vitamins, calcium, mineral salts);
  • patients’ referral to hospital facilities in case surgery is needed or to other centres/organisations to have access to medical devices (crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, prosthesis, etc.);
  • support to families to get access to public services or state-run programmes for people with disabilities;
  • counselling sessions with children’s mothers/parents;
  • medical visits at home to check on children’s conditions and teach mothers which exercises to have their kids do at home; awareness-raising meetings at a community level to reduce the stigma attached to people with disabilities and their families.