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Swabalambi Building CBR as a Brand


1.Title of the Project : Empowerment and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Through CBR Programme in Dimoria Block , Kamrup District (Metro) Chayani Block of Kamrup District (Rural) in Assam

Description of the Organization

Swabalambi is a Community Based Organization working for Inclusion and Mainstreaming of Persons with Disabilities in the rural areas of Dimoria Block, Kamrup District (Metro), Assam. Since its inception in 1997 Swabalambi has been working closely with rural community which includes ST, SC,and OBC population, 80% of which are BPL families..


To build a society whose priority is to focus on gender and disability, a society where persons with disability enjoy equal Human Right, become decision makers and contributors to community welfare.


Working with the families belonging to SC, ST, OBC and BPL to facilitate sharing in bringing about a change which will be mutually beneficial to families with disabled members and others and sustain the Inclusive Development process at the community.


Organization Profile

  • Name of the Organization   : Swabalambi
  • Contact Person                       : Monjari Borooah and Suchismita Majumdar
  • Phone No.                               : 9864276674 9435190397 9954817241
  • Email                                         : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Facebook                                 : swabalambi
  • Postal Address                         : H.No.14, 2nd Floor, Gandhi Basti Road,Silpukhuri P.O.Guwahati

Guwahati 781003, Assam

  • Project Office                           : Near Forest Range Office, Vill.Mohmara Road, Sonapur 780402,

                                                     Dimoria Block, Kamrup (M) District, Assam

  • Registration No.                       : RS/KAM/220/E/110
  • FCRA No.                                   : 0200780078
  • PAN                                             : AABAS5574K
  • Registered                                 : Section 12 A
  • Registered with the Department of Social Welfare , Govt. of Assam under section PWD Act 1995 bearing No. 18 dated 18.10.2004.
  • The registered office is at Guwahati and it is the postal address of Swabalambi. The main area of operation is 32 KM away at Dimoria Block, Kamrup District (Metro), Assam
  • The Executive body or the Board has 08 members , 07 members are women and 04 members are Women With Disabilities.

2. Swabalambi’s Beginings

Since its inception in 1997, Swabalambi , at first worked in the in the area of Health which was the primary need of the people. The Rehab Personnel of Swabalambi, with License from Rehabilitation Council of India identified several persons with disability of all categories with the help of World Vision India at the Dimoria Block. . The Community regarded disability as an incurable disease and left them neglected at home. Swabalambi organized Health Camps at the remote villages with Doctors from all departments of Guwahati Medical College . This helped the assessment of Disability and corrective surgeries. The families listened to the Doctor’s advice regarding problems of their disabled members but took some time to agree to go through the required Corrective Surgeries of ENT, Eye, Orthopedic, free Cleft Lip and palate surgeries . The doctors provided free medicine from their samples to the Epileptic cases . Regular Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy to the people/children with Locomotor disability and Mental Retardation improved their condition. The positive impact on their health increased the community’s trust in Swabalambi. This continued for a few years till CBR Forum introduced the CBR- Rights Based approach to Rehabilitation in Assam . CBR Forum supported Swabalambi’s CBR program in 04 GPs from the year 2005 to 2014.

CBR Forum established Swabalambi as one of the pioneer CBO in Assam. Now Swabalambi and the Block level DPO works in partnership with the State Government for Issue of Disability Certificate and Aids/Appliances, free medicine for the epileptic cases and mental illness, free corrective surgeries in the area health, Inclusive Education, Advocacy and promotion of Social Rights and Empowerment of all persons with Disabilities within their communities.

3. Swabalambi’s Resources

Swabalambi has 06 full time staff and 09 DPO members engaged in the in the project area including the Project Director. The team at Swabalambi has a clear vision of CBR and work with dedication for the target group. The group including the Financial Advisor, the Advisor at the Board, the President , Treasurer and Secretary are experienced in monitoring of the activities of Swabalambi and do the networking with Government , Corporate and Funding Agencies. The well -wishers of Swabalambi include families from all over the country, Alumni of various schools and colleges, Professors and teachers and force groups like All Assam Students Union and Youth Clubs who offer services in teaching and training of PWDs.

The village community see the change in the PWDs , appreciate the potential and come up to help in the activities at the villages. Swabalambi has the support of the PRI members to work for Inclusive communities.

Swabalambi has its own building at the project area which the PWDs regard as their own space. It is the meeting place of the DPOs and a training center where all the stake holders are familiar with.

At present , Swabalambi is engaged in Capacity Building of the Organization supported by the DM-Marketplace 2014, World Bank to develop as a Social Enterprise in CBR

4. Swabalambi’s Present Involvement in Disability

4.1 Area of operation

Swabalambi at present is working in 09 GPs of Dimoria Block, Kamrup District (Metro). Dimoria Block falls on the Tribal Belt of Assam. These have population of 1,44, 218 of which 80 % consist of Scheduled Tribes like Karbi, Boro and Tiwa. The literacy rate of the area is approx. 60 % . The SSA is instrumental in enrollment of children but the quality of education is very poor. The Basic Health service is available but emergency service is absent. People have to travel 40 KMs to the city for X Ray or Ultra sound . Medicine for mental illness and epileptic cases are never available. SSA facilitates Aids/Appliances to the CWDs and Physio therapy/Occupational therapy are in place at the SSA Resource centers. .The School Drop -out rate is increasing every year and the children in the villages have limited scope for economic independence

Villages in the area are accessible by road and few are reached by Public Transport. Electricity and water is available in all the villages. The occupation of the people are agriculture, horticulture, poultry and piggery. The land less population are wage earners and petty shop owners. MNREGA is irregular but most of the PWDs have Job Card and work according to their capacity.

90% of the families belong to BLP category and needs are limited. They enjoy Community Festivals and family functions which is their means of socializing Swabalambi continue to work in 09 GPs of Dimoria Block, Kamrup District (Metro), Assam , engaging the DPO members in each GPs . This is in support of the World Bank fund. The DPOs have been trained in developing the Framework of CBR for the next 03 years by the Disability Resource Person Mr. Gautam Choudhary. . Training in development of communication skills and report writing for the staff and DPO leaders are on going .

. Activities of Swabalambi To Carry Forward the Objectives

1.Creating awareness in the community on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the CBR matrix of Health, Education, Livelihood, Social and Empowerment.

2. The DPO members in Village,GP and Block are advocating for Inclusive Education

3. Formation of village level DPOs with groups of PWDs, parents of CWDs and interested village community members for mutual support

4. Training of PWDs in livelihood skills and support their small enterprises to grow for increased income   in the families.

5.Capacity building of the DPO members for Advocacy of Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Advocacy for Barrier Free Environment in the CBR Matrix of Health, Education, livelihood, Social and Empowerment.

6. Creation of network for Inclusive Health in the area and facilitating Disability Certificate to PWDs in the District at the camp held for assessment .

7. Strengthening of the BDPO and develop its networking with the Assam State Federation of DPO (SELF) to take up Issues and lobby with the Government Departments.

8. Motivate each member of the DPOs to develop and grow as a Role Model in the community.

Major Impact and Outcome of the CBR Projects

The impact so apparent, is that all the PWDs are welcome to participate in all the activities of the community. The PWDs who were shunned by the community now invites the PWDs both male, female and children to work, play , dance and sing and take part in the competitions held on Festival days. CWDs are attending schools and have willing and caring peer escorts to lead the wheel chairs. Deaf children have Peers communicating in ISL in the schools. The teachers are also eager to learn more of Sign Language. But the overall education is lacking in quality , teachers and Resource Teachers which the Assam Federation of DPOs can take up as a Major Issue. The School Monitoring Committees’ least priority is education of Children.

The DPO leaders and members are invited to the Gram Sabha and given a chance to speak about their work and objective. The Panchayat office welcome the presence of the DPO members and facilitate them access to Government schemes. The DPO members have learnt and transferred their learning that GP members can support the DPOs members bringing in an Inclusive Development in all aspects of livelihood by approaching all the Departments of the Government i.e . Agriculture, Fishery, Veterinary and Horticulture for the whole community to benefit with collective effort of the PWDs and community.

For struggling to make their ends meet, the parents of CWDs with severe disabilities cannot concentrate on regular therapy and often there is very little improvement of the CWDS. This aspect of incomplete rehabilitation of CWDs is another Major Issue for the DPOs to lobby with the Government /SSA/Health Deptt.

The attitudinal change towards PWDs is significant as more non- disabled persons are coming forward to marry Skilled DPO members . Marriage between skilled PWDs are also happening in the block. The village community is supporting the auspicious celebrations and helping the couples in leading a happy married life with children who are not disabled or unhealthy which was the rural communities bias or superstitions before . There are more marriages among PWDs in the pipeline which calls for celebration.

Lessons learned

Formal and informal reinforcement of sensitization of existing barriers and removal of these barriers by the CBRWs or DPO members must be continuous in the villages, so that the community understands the attitudinal and physical barriers and take action on their own for an Inclusive Community which is beneficial to all.

It is very important for a CBR Project   to build partnership with the Government from the beginning to change the challenges of working with the Government into a success. The DPO leaders have been very successful in this aspect. The community regards some DPO leaders as Resource on Disability and follows them.

The Dimoria Block is politically active and there is a possibility of emergence of a PWD to start as a Ward member in future.

Proposed Project

Swabalambi is submitting a project to CBRF, Bangalore to start CBR in another Block in Kamrup District(Rural) to effectively implement after the experience and lessons learned in the previous project. This project is aimed at creating an Inclusive Society with involvement of all the Stakeholders- PWDs, families, village community and the Government.

Project Area

The project will be implemented in 04 Gram Panchayats , 20 villages of Chayani Barduar Block, Kamrup District (Rural) with a population of 92,043 (Census 2011), consisting of SC ST and OBC . The literacy rate is 60% . The area is Plains surrounded by hills. The occupation of the people are Agriculture, Livestock rearing , daily wage and Petty Business. 70% are BPL and 20 % are Low Income Group.

Proposed Approach

In the new Block, Chayani Barduar , Kamrup District (Rural), few families with PWDs received Disability Certificates and Aids/Appliance in Kamrup (Rural) District and the team of Swabalambi has facilitated this in partnership with the Department of Health Service,Govt.of Assamand Social Welfare Department.

The local CBR /Field Workers have organized Focus Group Discussion at the community which have no awareness on Disability and Rehabilitation. The CBR project in a new area would have to start from

the basic of sensitizing the PWDs, families, community, PRI and the Block office in development of PWDs and their families in the community and subsequently bring about the Inclusive Community into focus.

Swabalambi organizes Meetings at the Block Office inviting the PRI members, Anganwadi Workers, Teachers, the Circle Officer , the BDO and community members to sensitize all on our role as CBR Practitioners in rehabilitation of Disability at the community. This Meetingsare mutual Introduction session and it motivates the families and other stakeholders to inform us on the PWDs they have come across in the area. This method help Swabalambi to do away with house to house survey and establish partnership with the Government from the beginning and in future.

This CBR program aims to bring about the desired change in the community regarding Disability. The CBR team instill Disability in its Development mode at the community from the start to ensure an Inclusive Community. Involvement and participation of other people in the villages in all activities of the program will ensure interest and skill to understand disability.


Staffing and management

Outcome : Capable Human Resources and system in place for participatory Planning, Implementation,Monitoring and Evaluation (PIME)

  1. 1.Selection of Staff

The staff selected are 50% from the new area and 50% from the skilled staff of the previous CBR project.

  1. 1Training of staff at the TC , including the Applicant, Project Director and the Accountant . Lifting Barriers method to be the focus in all the trainings.
  2. 2Training of Project Director and Coordinator on RBM and transfer of learning by them to CBR staff .
  3. 3Conduct SA on the new project area and collect Base Line Data. Build constructive relationship, gathering information,preparing village profile, correct understanding of disability, rehabilitation, inclusion through village level meetings with Family members and PWDs
  4. 4Compilation of Base Line Data : SA, PTA and STA and Revise /finalise list of PWDs in each village.
  5. 5Organize Reflection Workshop involving PWDs and other stakeholder to determine future plans and budget for 2nd and 3rd year of the project.

Health:     Outcome : Reduced incidence of Disability in the area. 100% PWDs have improved their functional abilities and experience qualitative change in their lives.

3.1 Meetings with the stake holders regarding causes, prevention and identification of PWDs and correct understanding of disability,rehabilitation and inclusion.

3.2 Project Personnel to visit Health Centers to identify resources available for meeting preventive, rehabilitative and curative needs of people identified.

3.3 Plan for Home based intervention and start identification of barriers at different levels .

3.4 Organize Disability Certification Camp at the project area or at the Government Hospitals.

3.5 Referral and support for specialized Medical Intervention of CWDs and adolescents with disabilities.


Outcome : CWDs have equal opportunities to early growth and development and CWDs have access to quality education

4.1 Formal and Informal discussion with parents and CWDs regarding education needs of children in general and CWDs in particular.

4.2 Visit to educational Institutions (ICDS schools,Primary , Higher Primary and High Schools) to know the status of education in general and education of CWDs in particular.

4.3 Work with families of CWDs for enrollment through counseling and encouragement

4.4 CBR team to follow up and see that the CWDs are enrolled, get attention in the classroom for enhancing their quality of education.


Outcome : 100% PWDs have improved their standard of living and contribute to the well being of their families and communities.

: Local authorities and Govt. Deptt. Adopt/Adapt policies and implement measures to improve access to work for PWDs

5.1 Identify livelihood opportunities that are available to the PWDs through a Resource Mapping exercise and match them with the needs of the PWDs

5.2 CBR team to ensure that PWDs’ families have Job Card and PWDs get work under MNREGA

5.3 Promote awareness amongst PWDs and their family members on the entitlements and schemes available for their welfare.


Outcome :

-Community structures, system and practices are Inclusive so that PWDs participate in Cultural, Recreational, Social and religious life of the community.

-PWDs have access to justice on an equal basis with others to ensure full enjoyment and respect human life.

6.1 CBR Team to sensitize family members to include PWDs in Socio-cultural and recreational activities.

6.2 Promote PWDFs relationship amongst the family members ,peer group and neighbours

6.3 Facilitate participation of PWDs in religious activities such as visiting places of worship.


Outcome :

  • VDPOs at grass root level in place and functioning effectively.
  • BDPO at Block level in place and functioning effectively.
  • DDPO at District level in place and functioning effectively

7.1 Preparation to form Village level DPO by interacting with PWDs,Family members and other community stakeholders

7.2. Formation of VDPOs and facilitating their meetings.

7.3. Celebration of World Disability Day on December 3, at the project level.

7.4 Participation of DPO members in the Disability Workshops organized by CBRF at Block and District level.


The monitoring and evaluation process will be with involvement of the CBR team, DPO members, other stakeholders like parents, family members and interested community members .

  • Weekly meeting of CBR personnel to review day to day activities, problems faced and action to meet at solutions.
  • Supervisory Field visits by Coordinator, Project Director and Resource Persons.
  • Monthly Staff Meetings for Review and monthly action plan.
  • Sharing progress and development of the Program with GDPOs during their monthly meetings.
  • Maintenance of IRPs for review and set targets when necessary .
  • Half Yearly meeting with parents and PWDs for Program review and activity appraisal.
  • Compilation of reports and preparation of Annual Report by the CBR staff.


CBR team will work to develop the skills of parents and DPO members , involve the other community members during the project period to develop the sense of ownership of the program with the intention of involving more interested members . These members will be provided with necessary training for supporting the families in removal of barriers around the PWDs in their villages.

Capacitate the VDPOs , GDPOs and BDPO to contribute towards improved well- being of the PWDs and for influencing the development of the village community as a whole. Let people realize that CBR is people’s program and not the implementing organization’s program.

Promotion of Livelihood opportunities for the Adolescents , individually or in groups . Empowering the DPOs to develop linkages with local and district level Government to emphasize mainstreaming disability in all development issues and poverty alleviation programs.

Promote the concept of Inclusive Health among the families of PWDs to realize the Right to life and Right to Health and to take action when a PWD is ill instead of neglecting his or her health.


The success of CBR program will ensure all stakeholder’s support to scale and replicate CBR in the chain process to create an Inclusive Society in the near future.


                                                                                                           Swabalambi Team



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Staffing and management

Staffing and management

Outcome : Capable Human Resources and system in place for participatory Planning, Implementation,Monitoring and Evaluation (PIME) 1. Selection of Staff The staff selected are 50% from the new area and...



Outcome : Reduced incidence of Disability in the area. 100% PWDs have improved their functional abilities and experience qualitative change in their lives. 3.1 Meetings with the stake holders regarding...



1. Home Based education to Children with Disabilities for admission to Primary schools in the villages.2. Training of Primary, Middle and Higher School teachers on Disability and its issues for...



The most important area to be reinforced for emancipation of Rural Life is development of Livelihood skills of the Persons with Disabilities and the non disabled population in the villages....



Formation of Disabled Persons Organizations at Village, GP and Block level for influencing Government and Policy makers. Also for Sustainability of the CBR Rights based approach to rehabilitation of persons...

Financial Assistance Received

Year Source of Funds Amount of Fund (Rs) Name of the Project Objectives & Key Strategies Geographical Area & Beneficiary 2000-2001 MPLAD 2,00,000 Development of Govt. Alloted Land To Build...



The monitoring and evaluation process will be with involvement of the CBR team, DPO members, other stakeholders like parents, family members and interested community members .• Weekly meeting of CBR...



CBR team will work to develop the skills of parents and DPO members , involve the other community members during the project period to develop the sense of ownership of...

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Swabalambi, Society for Rehabilitation & Training of Persons With Multiple Disabilities

Near Forest Range Office, Vill.Mohmara Road, Sonapur-780402, Dimoria Block, Kamrup (M) District, Assam

9864306192/94351 90397

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