© Handicap International
Handicap International addresses a wide range of disability issues in India by working to change national and local policies. Our aim is to ensure the needs and contributions of people with disabilities are routinely included in development actions and responses to natural disasters such as floods and cyclones.
Handicap International launched its first project in India in 1988, providing support to a community-based rehabilitation centre in Pondicherry, southern India.
After launching an emergency response to the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, we established a more permanent presence in the country and have gone on to develop public health services and disability-related projects in the region.
India is an emerging world power with a flourishing economy. However, 30% of its population still lives below the poverty line and there are major social and economic disparities between different states.
There are an estimated 40 to 80 million people with disabilities in India. The poorest members of society are the worst affected due to their limited access to care services, education and employment. For them, their disability only serves to increase their poverty and social exclusion.
Natural disasters such as drought, hurricanes, flooding and landslides are a constant and acute threat in India, with the poorest and most vulnerable people worst affected.
• Human Development Index: 135th out of 187
• Life expectancy: 66
• Population: 1.25 billion
Source: UNDP HDR 2014