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Handicap International is working in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India, which is impacted by chronic armed fighting and the presence of mines and explosive remnants of war. Handicap International aims to guarantee quality rehabilitation services for people with disabilities and to ensure their needs met. The organisation is also raising the population’s awareness of the risks of mines and explosive remnants of war.

A young boy with his mother, Handicap International India

© D. Van Ophalvens / Handicap International

Actions in process

Since 2009, Handicap International, in partnership with Hope Disability Center, has worked to improve the quality of rehabilitation services for people with disabilities living in areas affected by conflict in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In conjunction with HELP Foundation, Handicap International also helps reduce the risk of accidents involving mines and explosive remnants of war by providing awareness-raising sessions, training volunteers and distributing educational material, and more.

Handicap International is also helping to champion the rights of people with disabilities in Jammu and Kashmir and to heighten awareness of their needs. This is achieved by providing support to disabled people’s organisations to perform awareness-raising and advocacy work on these issues.

Areas of intervention

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Situation of the country

There are between 55 and 90 million people with disabilities in India, many of whom fall victim to violence and exclusion. Despite the country’s healthy economic growth, these people are excluded from the resulting development.

India is one of the great emerging powers and in a phase of rapid growth. Despite this, around 30% of the population still lives below the poverty threshold and the economic and social disparities between the different states are enormous.

People with disabilities in India – between 55 and 90 million people - have limited access to health care, education and jobs. They are also victims of discrimination. The number of people with disabilities is aggravated by various factors, such as malnutrition, appalling living and working conditions, limited access to health care, lack of hygiene, sanitation problems, limited access to information, and the internal conflicts in certain regions.

Furthermore, there are numerous forms of discrimination and social exclusion, notably against people from lower castes, different cultures and/or remote rural areas. People with disabilities are, therefore, subjected to discrimination on a number of levels and are ill-informed about the social support systems available. Women are considered to be of little value, and are unfairly treated when trying to access services and employment.

The country is also vulnerable to natural disasters, such as drought, cyclones, floods, and landslides, which represent a major threat on the sub-continent.

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