In India, Handicap International aims to ensure disability issues are systematically taken into consideration in development actions especially in remote areas as well as in response to emergencies. The organization launched its first project in the country in 1988 and began building a permanent presence following the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. Handicap International employs nine national staff members and one expatriate to carry out its mission in India.
Located in South Asia, India is an emerging world power with a flourishing economy. However, 30% of its population still lives below the poverty line and major economic and social disparities exist between its different states. The World Bank estimates that between 55 to 90 million Indians have some form of disability. The poorest segments of the population are the worst affected due to their limited access to care, education and employment. They are victims of discrimination and exclusion of care systems. For these populations, disability only serves to fuel poverty and social exclusion. Natural disasters such as droughts, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, and landslides are a constant and acute threat in India. The most vulnerable populations are the most impacted by natural disasters, especially people with disabilities.
Humanitarian Assistance: Jammu & Kashmir
Handicap International's project in Jammu and Kashmir state has two major goals: Improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through increased access to physical rehabilitation and educating people living in conflict-impacted areas about the risks posed by landmines and other conventional weapons. In 2015, Handicap International partnered with She Hope Society and Human Effort for Love and Peace (HELP) Foundation on community-based risk reduction education training. 470 people with physical disabilities and 60 people with visual disabilities have benefited. Specific actions include:
- Building the capacity of partners to provide rehabilitation and referral services to people with disabilities;
- Expanding rehabilitation services in public facilities;
- Promoting awareness and understanding on the part of the government and communities about respecting the rights and recognizing the needs of people with disabilities;
- Educating members of communities affected by weapons pollution about how to protect themselves through mass campaigns, workshops, and awareness material.
Supporting the Rights of People with Disabilities
Handicap International aims to strengthen disabled people’s organization to promote the rights of persons with disabilities through evidence-based advocacy, by improving access to rights for persons with disabilities as per the Convention on the right on persons with disabilities by working with existing DPOs at local and district level and State level actors.
THESE PROJECTS ARE POSSIBLE THANKS TO HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL DONORS, AND THE FOLLOWING FUNDING BODIES:
 Report of the expert group to review the methodology for measurement of poverty, Government of India Planning Commission (June, 2014) http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/genrep/pov_rep0707.pdf
Previous projects Handicap International has run in India:
Database and Project Management
This regional project was implemented by Handicap International in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It was designed to improve the quality of project management through use of an open source software developed for French NGOs.