Art 17 and Art 21 of UNCRPD enshrines the people with disabilities to express their opinions and to be part of decisions in the better interest of the PWDs. Coming together as a collective provides platform of the disable to express themselves and be part of the decisions.
The collectives in the name of “SANGAM” which is technically called “DPO” (Disable People Organization) by CBR project is the crux and cynosure of the project. It combines cross disability and enrolls each and every PWD as the member of DPO and enables them act as a group, think as a group and advocate and combat as a group towards their rights.
At the initial stage the project equips them with needed sensitization so as to understand the programs of the project. It facilitates them to understand their RIGHTS, LAWS, SCHEMES and the structure and functioning of DPO. Having sensitized the PWD’s on DPO, Village level DPO’s will be formed with the minimum of 5 PWD’s to the maximum of 20 PWD’s as the members of DPO irrespective of age, gender and disability. In each formed DPO, there will be a President, Vice President and Secretary to officiate the DPO. The DPO meetings will be convened once a month, it may be twice in a month as the need requires.
The Village level DPO’s (VDPO) will function as a base level DPO’s to discuss issues and matters that affect them at their village level. There will be a PDPO, Panchayat Level Disable People Organization which will function as a middle level authoritative DPO to advocate for their rights at Panchayat level. The Officiating members will be elected from the VDPO’s to PDPO to effectively run them.
At a higher level there will be a BDPO, Block Level Disable People Organization which will have elected representatives from the 12 panchayats. The BDPO will take up issues and problems of the PWD’s at Block level and collectively advocate for it. It will be a more powerful and legal body to promote their rights and combat for their rights.
The BDPO will be linked to District Level Disable People Organization to work at a broader level.
At present 10 VDPO’s have been formed in the following villages of Cholavaram block
The VDPO’s have started functioning well and have taken up issues that are really concerning them at their level.
Networking enhances the implementation of programmes and perspectives on the issue. Jeeva Jyothi is part of the network at District, State and National Level to share experiences and advocate for the rights of the disabled.
The networks at the national and state level effectively helps in advocating for policy level changes in support of the PWDs and the district level networking helps in effective implementation of CBR at the grassroots level.
The CBR Forum, Bangalore facilitates the National Level network while the state and district level forums are facilitated by the democratically elected members organizations in the network