Disabled People’s Organizations in India: Assertions and Angsts
Social movements are conscious, collective, concerted and sustained efforts by broad social alliances of people connected through their shared interest in affecting social change. Over the past few years, alliances of persons with disabilities, termed Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs), are being forged at local levels in order to initiate localized disability advocacy struggles in various parts of India, and also in order to bring about a perceptible change in the status of disabled people. Such DPOs are formed on the basis of a collective identity for all persons with disability and are organized on the lines of self-help groups (SHGs) by local NGOs, either working on disability-specific issues or on general community issues. This chapter explores the formation and genesis of such DPOs in different parts of India and the processes whereby these groups have engaged with the goals they were set up for. The chapter attempts to assess the extent to which these groups have been able to achieve a movement for change of social attitudes at the grass-roots level and the resultant effect it has on their identities. The engagement with social movement processes has also revealed and crystallized divisions within the DPOs themselves, with internal power struggles and dynamics influencing the outcomes of their achievements.
KeywordsDisabled people’s organizations Social movement Identity Advocacy Social change
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