Home > News > Community Based Rehabilitation: Nayanamate

Nayanamate is 17 years old and lives with her mother and grandmother in Bariguda, a small tribal village made up of fewer than 70 houses in the Koraput district of Orissa.

She was born with both cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, which makes it extremely difficult for her to learn anything and impossible for her to attend the already overstretched local school.

Ekta first became aware of her because of her mother and grandmothers concern that she was not receiving any form of education. She has a limited vocabulary and struggles to identify shapes or match colours.

Upasana is a teacher with Ektas Community Based Rehabilitation programme and pays regular visits to Bariguda. She has spent countless hours working with Nayanamate, struggling over each new word and endlessly repeating exercises.

The result is that Nayamate has now learned to read and write her own name and the names of her parents and village.

Along with the epilepsy medicine Ekta has obtained for her, which aids her concentration, Nayamate has earned a tiny measure of independence and has improved her chances of accessing the government schemes designed to help her.

Ektas Sunita Dalai is in charge of the Community Based Rehabilitation programme, which in total works with around 200 people living with disabilities in Koraput district.

She says that helping people to get access to the support the government offers is an important part of her work. The Indian government have introduced many schemes to try and reduce poverty, she says, but those who need the help most lack the necessary education to take advantage of the schemes.

Education is a livelihoods issue, she says. Tribal people often need to send their children out to work in order to survive, which means that they arent able to attend school regularly.