Building Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals: Empowering Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (India)

Overview of the situation

According to the 2007 World Bank Report entitled “People with disabilities in India: From commitments to outcomes”, India has some 40-80 million persons with disabilities. In the years to come, this number is set to rise. Globally, persons with disabilities comprise 15% of the world’s population - one billion people - of whom 80 per cent live in developing countries and are vastly over-represented among those living in absolute poverty. Evidence by UN Women shows that women and girls with disabilities are in the majority and also face greater poverty, lack of opportunity, denial of political and social rights due to the persistence of certain cultural, legal and institutional barriers, which make them the victims of multiple and intersectional discrimination.

Although organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) play a vital role in promoting and safeguarding fundamental rights of men, women and children with disabilities, they can lack awareness of their rights and the legal frameworks, the capacity to fully engage in policy dialogue processes and to hold duty bearers accountable.

Objectives of the project

The overall objective of the project is for women and men with disabilities to engage in, shape and monitor SDGs implementation in India. The project will contribute to boost DPOs’ participation in SDGs processes and support the Indian government in terms of SDGs implementation and monitoring.

The specific objective of this project is to establish, strengthen and stimulate policy dialogue and partnership between Indian DPOs in India and EDF. This will be achieved by promoting civil society consultations and exchanges between European Disability Rights movement and Indian civil society.

Indian stakeholders

The project is carried out with approximately 15 rural based DPOs in the following five Indian states: Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Others stakeholders include local/state level networks such as Madhya Pradesh Disability Network as well as Non-governmental Organisations.

Nationally, the key stakeholders are disability activists and organisations working with marginalised populations such as the National Confederation of Dalit Organisations, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People and Wada Na Todo (a national campaign to hold the government accountable for its promise to end poverty, social exclusion & discrimination).

The role of EDF

The role of EDF is to engage in policy dialogues between Indian and European DPOs, through information sharing, capacity-building visits and organisation of events. The anticipated impact will be both an increased awareness within EU countries of global disability policies and opportunities to learn from one another on what works in different context for disability inclusive implementation of the SDGs.


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