Working together to enhance equality and mobility for disabled people across India.

The challenge

  • More than 26 million people in India have a disability
  • The percentage of disabled is highest in the age group 10-19 years old
  • Nearly 70% of disabled people live in rural areas

India’s population growth is soaring, but so is inequality: a staggering 56% are unable to meet their basic needs. Disabled people often face the biggest challenges.

Stigma and discrimination around disability is rife. Disabled people are often excluded by their families, friendship groups and wider communities. They are treated unfairly by prospective employers, or aren’t given jobs at all.

Unable to access healthcare and prone to health complications that could be easily cured, conditions like pressure ulcers, respiratory problems and bladder infections can become life-threatening.

Without mobility, a support network, good health, or the opportunity to earn an income, disabled people are often left isolated and vulnerable to poverty.

Ankita was determined to be independent, educated and mobile before she met Motivation and received a new wheelchair:

"I can manage indoors, but moving around outside is difficult,” she explained when we first met. “I used to travel to class by rickshaw. I'd go anywhere further than that on the back of a bike.”

Motivation in India

We’re working with local partners – including state governments – to improve the equipment and services available for good wheelchair provision.

Currently, the quality of wheelchairs available is varied. Many aren’t fitted to the individual and they aren’t designed to suit the rough terrain and potholed roads that are common throughout the country.

As a result of poorly fitted equipment, many users experience ulcers and infections. Inadequate design means that many wheelchairs are difficult to use or not possible to repair locally. They end up broken or discarded.

Our current projects are establishing a network of services with 24 partners and more than 100 outreach partners. This means we’ll be able to reach thousands of disabled people across the country.

Our priorities

Improving how wheelchairs are provided

Working with partner organisations, government institutions and hospitals across the country, we are improving the standard of wheelchair services across India.

That means we are training staff so that they are better able to fit and adjust wheelchairs according to World Health Organization standards. We’re setting up wheelchair clinics and wheelchair skills units where they're most needed, ensuring they will be sustainable and continue to meet the needs of disabled people in India long after our projects end.

Ankita understands how important it is to reach people at home when mobility restricts how far they can travel: “I’ve had my Motivation wheelchair for around a year and a half now. I use it for tutoring students in their homes or visiting friends and family nearby. I think Indian society is very understanding and respectful to those with disabilities but accessibility problems do remain."

Making sure people have the right wheelchairs

We’re identifying new ways to connect with disabled people who urgently need a wheelchair. The Motivation team travel to local partners in communities across the North, North East, South and West of India. They are helping us to identify even more wheelchair users who are in need a wheelchair that fits them and suits their needs.

Find out more

If you have further questions about our work in India, or would like to receive extra information, please visit our sister website or contact our team by email. They will be delighted to hear from you!

Support Motivation

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