CBM India Trust, established in 1994, is a leading not-for-profit development organisation committed to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities and other marginalised communities in India. The organisation’s legacy traces back to establishing CBM education, rehabilitation, and eye care projects in 1967. Today, CBM India Trust works alongside persons with disabilities in over 25 states to remove cultural and environmental barriers to the full participation of persons with disabilities in health, education, and livelihood. CBM India remains committed to driving positive change and disability-inclusive development.
With its unwavering dedication and focused approach, CBM India Trust has positively transformed the lives of over 15,00,000 individuals through its core activities in the last year alone. CBM India has championed change in the country by empowering persons with disabilities, raising awareness about their rights and opportunities, and fostering inclusive environments. Through CBM India Trust:
- 2,15,278 people with disabilities were reached through inclusive livelihood, education, health, and humanitarian aid programs.
- 1,49,161 people were referred for eye operations.
- 69,072 people accessed livelihood and mental health services.
- 7,159 children received access to inclusive education.
- 6,03,569 people were reached as part of the COVID-19 response.
From the beginning, CBM India has been dedicated to improving the lives of persons with disabilities in India, encouraging their social and economic transformation. This dedication stems from an understanding and belief that disability and poverty are intertwined in a complex relationship, as disability can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty.
To break the vicious cycle of poverty and dependence, CBM India works directly with persons with disabilities, their families, representative organisations, community-based organisations, inclusive self-help groups, institutions, and local, state & central governments through its various programs and services. These critical programs fall under the following thematic areas such as inclusive education, inclusive health, inclusive livelihood, and humanitarian preparedness and response programmes that holistically address the physical, emotional, economic, developmental, and social well-being of people with disabilities and help them to become active, productive members of society. CBM India’s programmes promote inclusivity by collaborating with communities and duty-bearers to ensure accessibility and inclusivity in policies and programs, fostering the active participation of persons with disabilities in society.
CBM India focuses on enabling children with disabilities through education – beyond classroom learning. One of the most notable memories of the inclusive education program is the student’s experience at the inclusive park that is accessible for students with and without disabilities. According to the teacher, Wandalin Char, at Bethany Society, Shillong –
“The first time I took students of 3rd standard to the Inclusive Park, a girl got so excited that she jumped out of her wheelchair and took almost two steps; we were all so surprised and happy”.CBM India
The Story of Poonam
Through its various programs, CBM India has touched the lives of many individuals nationwide. For example, the organisation’s Community-Based Inclusive Development program helped people like Poonam, who faced mobility challenges due to childhood infection. Undeterred by her physical limitations, Poonam’s determination and the support provided by CBM India enabled her to overcome obstacles. Through training and assistance, she acquired new skills and successfully embraced entrepreneurship, emerging as a respected figure in her community. Her mastery of creating utensils, statues, and home décor items from clay has boosted her income by 60% through successful sales. “Today, I’m not only contributing to my household income but also saving up for the bright future of my family”, shares Poonam proudly. Poonam’s inspiring journey exemplifies the transformative power of CBM India’s interventions in empowering individuals with disabilities to thrive and serve as role models.
The Story of Sunaina
CBM India’s programs have played a vital role in supporting individuals like Sunaina, enabling them to defy limitations and achieve their goals, fostering a more inclusive and empowering society. Sunaina, a resilient young woman with visual impairment, refused to let her condition and negative comments from her family hold her back from her entrepreneurial dreams. Sunaina’s determination and the support of CBM India propelled her towards success. Today, she is a shining example as the accomplished owner of a thriving beekeeping business, gaining financial independence and inspiring others with disabilities, encouraging them to pursue their aspirations.
In addition to curating and executing several disability-inclusive programs, CBM works with global organisations to shed light on inclusivity. CBM India handcrafted the Include Vidya campaign in 2014, where the team worked across seven states in Northern India to bring inclusive education to light and collaborated with UNESCO to release N for Nose: A Report on Inclusive Education, 2019 State of the Education Report for India: Children with Disabilities.
CBM India is a founding member of Vision 2020
The Right to Sight India collaborates with other organisations to prevent avoidable impairments and address the needs of individuals with irreversible visual impairments. Speaking of international recognition, CBM India was also awarded the Zero Project Innovation award in 2017 for initiating disability-inclusive farming.
One of the key factors behind CBM India’s success has been corporate partnerships that aim to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. The organisation has received backing from several notable institutions, including Standard Chartered, Tata Capital, Fullerton India, Cognizant, CRISIL Foundation, and Adobe, to name just a few. These partnerships have allowed CBM India to expand its reach and impact, enabling it to provide more comprehensive services to more individuals.
Looking towards the future
CBM India continues to reach out to the most under-developed geographies in the country and, with a strong national presence, has the potential to bring development to those who are the most excluded, whether by geography or disability.
Looking to the future, CBM India is committed to expanding its reach and impact to improve the lives of even more individuals with disabilities nationwide.
The organisation’s strategic goals are to:
- Amplify the presence and voice of people with disabilities.
- Hyper-focus on inclusivity can help build self-reliant communities with the potential for economic, social, and psychological improvement.
- Build inclusive and sustainable local as well as national systems and services.
- Build a proactive approach that helps reduce situations that may lead to disability. This can include building a high-response medical infrastructure and creating awareness.
- Ensuring that people affected with disabilities are a part of inclusive humanitarian assistance and protection.
The organisation intends to continue raising awareness about disability rights and integrating the inclusion of persons with disabilities into all aspects of society while addressing emerging agendas such as climate change, water and sanitation, and inclusive disaster response. With the support of its partners and the dedication of its staff and volunteers, CBM India is poised to make an even more significant impact in the years to come.