BENGALURU: There are multiple facets to rehabilitating persons with disability. While one aspect is medical care, the other is psychological and social rehabilitation, which requires the collaboration of the entire community to draw out the best potential of the person -- transferring skills to families and enabling an ecosystem, according to experts.
To bring holistic rehabilitation strategies to make persons with disabilities self dependant, the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of St John’s Medical College and the State Government on Friday launched the Kaveri Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (KARM) -- the Karnataka chapter of the Indian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
V S Basavaraju, state commissioner for people with disabilities, said, “The state spends Rs 14,400 crore on disability pension, which could be used for rehabilitation and better equipment and support, up to 80 per cent people can be made productive, and enhance the GDP by 5-6 per cent in the country.”
Talking to TNIE on the sidelines of the programme, Basavaraju said the need is really for local bodies and parent organisations to take up rehabilitation efforts. “We are not yet investing in the latter to transfer skills. Additionally, there is a need for mobility aid and rehabilitation support and therapy to reach those who need it, so their dependence on others reduces,” he added.
KARM president Dr Kurien Zachariah suggested that doctors and the advertisement industry should come together to device mechanisms to change the mental construct around disability to have a largescale impact. Post-Covid, rehabilitation has faced new challenges, said Dr Anand Varma, secretary, KARM. He pointed out that not much was known about the effects of Covid, so, one has to learn and then rehabilitation can begin.