The ‘Sarvodya’ Story
India is a country of 1.3bn people – ~18% of the world’s population.
As per WHO, 80% of persons with disabilities live in developing countries.
By extension, we can assume India also has a minimum of ~18% of the world’s population of intellectually disabled, if not more!
Being sometimes less visible and often lesser understood, Persons with Intellectual Disabilities are hugely underserved, across their lifespan, as are their families and caregivers, educators and healthcare providers. Assuming an average of 2-3%* of the population, this is an unacceptably high number of people left out of the mainstream.
- Parents and families do not have adequate information and awareness leading to the problem of non-identification of the issue and related to it, inadequate support and non-resolution of the issue.
- Inadequate pool of educators, therapists or healthcare providers to meet the needs of this space.
- Also inadequate capacity in terms of number of institutions and the scale of institutions serving this community – our broad thesis is its due to funding and skills gap, both of which are solvable issues.
Persons with Intellectual Disabilities have little chance of leading a fulfilling and independent life as they grow into adulthood, both professionally or personally. Taking a broader view, India is not geared to help the differently abled grow into independent, fully functioning and contributing members of mainstream society. The other half of this equation is that India is not geared to be an inclusive society – an appreciation of intellectual / cognitive diversity needs to be programmed through the early years, in schools and otherwise.
Sarvodya is born of a desire to change this status quo.
- To help organisations that do great work to open up life opportunities for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities to grow and thrive
- To seed and develop projects and networks that bridge the gap in access and quality
- To build and bolster this ecosystem in service of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities!
Why do we call ourselves 'The Sarvodya Collective'?
Realising a better and brighter future will take work and no one organisation could do it all! We exist in service of the ecosystem, to help build and bolster it, knowing that it will take a collective of organisations serving different needs, in different geographies, across different models and at a variety of scales to meet the needs of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities across their lifespan!