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SPARK Project: Transforming Disability Inclusion in India



  Dec 04, 2023

Enhancing Disability Inclusion in India



Global Context of Disability:

Population with Disabilities: 1.3 billion globally, 80% in developing countries.

Rural Prevalence: 70% of disabled persons in rural areas.

Economic Impact and Inclusion:

Potential GDP Boost: 3% to 7% if persons with disabilities are included (ILO study).

Current Employment Scenario: Limited jobs, prevalent stereotypes.

Convention Compliance: UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities advocates for changing attitudes and social development inclusion.

Challenges in Rural India:

Government Schemes: Various schemes and UDID card under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (2016).

Awareness and Capacity Building: Need for grass-root level advocacy, especially in rural areas.

Greater Barriers: Limited access to education, employment, and developmental schemes.

Climate Risk: Heightened vulnerability to climate calamities.

Private Sector's Role:

Employment Promotion: Key to increasing job opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Engagement Strategies: Involving employers' federations and trade unions for better inclusion.

The SPARK Project:

Implementation: By ILO, IFAD, and Women’s Development Corporation in Maharashtra.

Role of Disability Inclusion Facilitators (DIFs): Training DIFs for community engagement and awareness.

Empowerment Initiatives: Mainstreaming women with disabilities in self-help groups for social and economic development.

Impact: Attitudinal shifts at societal and administrative levels.

Moving Forward:

Inclusive Development: Essential for social justice and rural resilience.

Link to Poverty, Nutrition, Hunger: Need for inclusive opportunities and employment in rural areas.

Global Development Agenda: Prioritizing the voices and needs of persons with disabilities.

The SPARK Project: Empowering Persons with Disabilities

Project Overview:

Initiative: Sparking Disability Inclusive Rural Transformation (SPARK).

Collaborators: ILO, IFAD, and Women’s Development Corporation in Maharashtra.

Focus: Disability inclusion in rural communities.

Key Strategies of SPARK:

1. Leadership by Persons with Disabilities:

Identifying and training individuals with disabilities as Disability Inclusion Facilitators (DIFs).

Ensuring that persons with disabilities lead the initiative.

2. Community Engagement:

DIFs actively engage with the community, including caregivers and women’s self-help groups.

Raising awareness about the challenges and barriers faced by persons with disabilities.

3. Economic Empowerment:

Mainstreaming women with disabilities into existing self-help groups.

Facilitating access to funds for starting enterprises.

Impact and Achievements:

Societal Change: Shift in societal attitudes towards persons with disabilities.

Administrative Engagement: Enhanced recognition and support at administrative levels.

Economic Development: Creation of new opportunities for economic empowerment.

Implications:

The SPARK project is a significant step in ensuring that persons with disabilities are not just recipients of aid but active participants and leaders in their communities. By focusing on capacity building and economic inclusion, the project fosters a more inclusive and sustainable model of development


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