Differently Abled

United We Stand - Growing in Strength, Solidarity & Stature!

Differently Abled Persons Organizations (DPOs)

Arpana’s program for persons with disabilities (PwDs) began in 2012. Identifying PwDs required persistence, as their families hid them due to the social stigma of being disabled. By constant dialogue, motivation and meetings,Arpana organized PwDs into village-based collectives.

PwDs were burdened not only by poverty, social stigma and marginalization, but also by negative attitudes such as passive acceptance, hopelessness and low self-worth.

Bringing Joy into Life

Arpana’s constant practical support and counselling, while ensuring financial security, has transformed their outlook, giving them a hope for the future and a joy in life that they had previously thought impossible. There are 48 DPOs in Karnal District with 1,242 members.

 DPO Meetings

 The monthly DPO meetings foster a spirit of brotherhood, while disseminating new information and training members on health issues and matters related to government laws and policy which affect differently-abled persons. DPO members built up savings and took loans to meet domestic needs and to start income generation activities. Other Issues addressed in monthly meetings include:

  • COVID-19: Awareness, Prevention, Management                            
  • Gram Sabhas (village meetings): preparing petitions
  • Assistive Devices: Camps, PwD benefits
  • Medical Certification for government benefits
  • Celebrations of Festivals and Memorial Days
  • MANREGA: Jobs for all                                                 
  • Annual Savings of DPOs
  • Loan applications
  • Voting in local elections
  • Substance Abuse and its ill effects

 Sahayaks: A Vital Support for DPOs

 Arpana formed and trained a cadre of volunteers, called the Viklang Vikas Sahayaks, dedicated to strengthening the 48 DPOs facilitated by Arpana. Workshops trained them to lead DPO meetings, to make home visits, to help all PwDs obtain certification, Ayushman Insurance, ration cards, etc.

   Results of Home Visits by Sahayaks                                                                                                         

   17 Sahayaks made home visits to 892 PwDs, resulting in:

  •   97 PwDs enrolling as new members in DPOs.
  •   9 PwDs resuming active participation in DPOs
  •   A list of PwDs requiring different assistive devices
  •   All PwDs being informed about Assistive Devices Camp.
  •   PwDs applying to get medical certificates and pensions.

Training Sahayaks about DPO Agenda at Arpana


Rekha, who lives in village Sangoha, is 90% disabled in both legs and has two daughters. Her husband used to beat her and his daughters. He died 3 years ago due to illness and the whole burden of the family fell on Rekha's shoulders.

Rekha joined a DPO formed by Arpana and found a new way to live. She got a pension, a tricycle for mobility and made envelopes and papads for extra income.

Simultaneously, Rekha bought a sewing machine by taking a loan from the DPO. She started sewing and earning and also taught sewing to girls of the village.

Today Rekha is able to feed herself and her children. She says, “I used to live life  in fear, but today I am confident with Arpana’s ray of hope for us handicapped