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The WHO's International Ear Care Day was set on 3 march as the date 3.3 looks like the shape of two ears

Ending the cycle of poverty and disability


One sunny morning Chico a chickling is chattering with its fellow birdies.The chubby conversation was about his missing leg. Some claim it to be an act of karma or curse, and some say it's ill fate, as grew the debate, intervened our vice owl 'Gyan' chuckling. Gayn enlightened birdies neither is it his fault nor an effect of karma
Unfortunately, this is also true about the human bird where many tend to look at disability as a curse or a result of bad luck, but that is not true, disabilities are required because of vulnerability, malnutrition, lack of access to health services, and other factors. In fact, disability is mostly a cause and consequence of poverty as people with disabilities are among the poorest in the world disability and poverty together create a vicious cycle. Communities living in poverty have more incidents of disabilities and those with disabilities stay trapped in poverty because they do not get healthcare and other opportunities or entitlements available to non-disabled people.
Stats state that 26.8 million people are with disabilities in India. 1.4 million children are disabled and out of reach of education, 7.8 million unemployed youth are among the disabled. 12 million people have blindness in India of which 80% is preventable, but this cycle can be broken by creating an inclusive society.
CBM works towards this goal by empowering people with disabilities to organise for their rights. Together we ensure that development schemes on health, education, employment and participation include people with disabilities. Come, break the cycle of disability and poverty and Join CBM to build an inclusive world

People with disabilities are one of the poorest groups in the world. This is because those living in poverty are more vulnerable to disability, and those with disabilities stay poor due to barriers, discrimination and lack of equal opportunities.

To create an equal opportunity world for all, we need to look at disability not as an isolated aspect but in its totality to address barriers to the social, economic and political participation of people with disabilities.

We have created a short animation film for explaining this basic but often overlooked linkage between poverty and disability. Though the film uses the case of people with disabilities in India, the framework is global, and CBM works through this approach for lasting and sustainable change towards a society that is inclusive for all.

Disability as a cause of poverty

Disability contributes to and deepens poverty on an individual, family and community level due to discrimination and institutional and attitudinal barriers. So a person with a disability and their family are less likely to have access to rehabilitation, education, skills training, and employment opportunities - opportunities which could otherwise reduce poverty.

If a child is affected by a condition that creates physical or intellectual disability, the family is unlikely to have the means to seek intervention due to lack of access to healthcare. The community, due to lack of awareness, would traditionally not involve the child in social and public skills. If the child is wheelchair users, the inaccessibility to school will not allow the child to access education. This trend will continue at different life stages of the child and result in a life of dependence and poverty.    

Disability as a consequence of poverty

Extreme poverty causes disability through many causes including lack of access to adequate nutrition, preventative and curative health care, clean water, and sanitation, and unsafe working conditions.

This is why it is so important to include people with a disability across all sectors of international development. Empowering people with a disability to receive a worthwhile education, access health and rehabilitation services, gain a livelihood and participate fully in society is essential to End the Cycle of disability and poverty.

Not only is the inclusion of people with disabilities essential to End the Cycle of poverty and disability but it is also important to help make international aid more effective. When spending on aid and development includes people with disabilities, it can then reach the poorest and most marginalised people.

Empowerment is key

Experience has shown us that empowerment – having a say in the decisions that affect your life – is one of the most effective ways to end poverty. However, people living with disabilities are often marginalised from the power structures of society:

  • Negative attitudes or discrimination mean people with disabilities are not welcome in community decision-making forums.
  • Information on services, public meetings, and official administration can be hard to access, and people with disabilities can often miss out.
  • Parents may keep children with disabilities out of school and family members with a disability away from their community to protect them from teasing and discrimination.
  • People with a disability may exclude themselves from their community due to fear of not being accepted.
  • Women with disabilities often face discrimination because of their disability and gender.
  • When people with a disability are denied the right to make their own decisions or have a say in their family and their community, their voices go unheard. The whole of society develops in a way that continues to exclude people with a disability.

Thumbnail for video "Winning combination of cricket and inclusion" Thumbnail for video "Winning combination of cricket and inclusion"

Winning combination of cricket and inclusion

Message by India’s T20 Blind Cricket Team on celebrating CBM India’s winning combination of cricket and inclusion.

Thumbnail for video "Why Vidya must go to school" Thumbnail for video "Why Vidya must go to school"

Why Vidya must go to school

We all feel very strongly about the need of education for enabling children to find opportunities and addressing development challenges of the country


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