ADAPT (formerly The Spastics Society of India) is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) that was set up by Dr. Mithu Alur in 1972 a parent of a daughter Malini (Trustee & Acting CEO, Chairperson of ADAPT Rights Group), who was born with cerebral palsy to address the lack of services and overall knowledge about multiple disabilities in general and cerebral palsy in particular.
The overall aim of the organization is to support India's social and economic policy reform within a human rights context. The strategic goals (core objectives) of the organization include:
- To increase the access of children to educational and healthcare opportunities irrespective of disability, gender and social disadvantage;
- To promote the exchange of information and ideas on sustainable inclusion policy and practice;
- To develop resources to support a sustainable model for the universalisation of primary education;
- To foster community attitudes, professional practices leading to legislation measures supportive of inclusive education and a social model of disability;
- To develop and implement placement and post-placement strategies for increasing employability of people with disabilities; and
- To influence public opinion, policies and legislation concerned with the rights and needs of disabled youth.
The Adapts Right Group (ARG), a group of young persons with and without disabilities advocating for the rights of the disabled, lobbied for the introduction of the wheel chair event in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. The growing enthusiasm over the years reflects that disability is no deterrent to spirit and passion.
There are 100 million people without any services in this country. There is undoubtedly a long way to go to ensure that this group of marginalized group becomes a part of us.
The funds raised through the Mumbai Marathon will take forward this mandate of the ARG. Funds raised in the forthcoming year will be specifically utilised for outreach programmes in the communities in urban Mumbai and rural Pelhar.
ARG is also attempting to make Mumbai barrier free not just for disabled people but also for senior citizens, pregnant mothers and temporarily injured people so all can function in a safe and accessible environment. In the last one year, the campaign entitled "Mumbai rising disability access: we the people too." has already reached out to more than 75,000 people.
The fund raised will support this initiative as well.
Sensitization programs were conducted on International Day of the Disabled in 2011 at various sites in Mumbai. Three street plays promoting inclusive education were staged at public places; the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus; Carter Road in Bandra and near the K Star Mall in Chembur.
Access audits were conducted at 5 public places in the rural area of rural Pelhar, a cluster of 22 villages in the Thane district and in Mumbai's A ward. An audit was also conducted at the Capgemini Company to encourage the corporate to employ people with disability.
Empowerment training programmes for people with disabilities their families and allies were conducted in Goa and Mumbai. These trainings were conducted by disabled people from different parts of country as part of the North South Dialogue, an international conference focusing on inclusion and inclusive education. The audience included teachers from mainstream schools, sensitizing them to the issues facing persons with disability. 21
Master Trainers from across the Asia Pacific were also trained in a separate workshop. Parents and adults with disability were oriented to their Rights during screening camps held by ADAPT. Participant feedback forms are the basis of our future planning.