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The Association of People with Disability (APD)

The Association of People with Disability (APD) Receives the HCL 2022 Grant for Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation and Research

Jul 04, 2022 17:43 IST 
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

The Association of People with Disability (APD), has received a grant of Rs. 5 crore from the HCL Foundation (HCLF), the CSR arm of HCL Technologies for its approach to Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. The flagship program of the HCL Foundation, the annual HCL Grant attracts over 8000 applications from NGOs across India. A rigorous, multi-round evaluation resulted in APD winning the award for its unique ‘Cot-to-Community’ approach to Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. APD’s comprehensive rehabilitation model focuses on the physical, social & psychological rehabilitation of disabled individuals.


Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (SCIR) Basketball Team engaging in adaptive sports


The ‘Cot to Community’ project provides comprehensive rehabilitation for socio-economically vulnerable Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries (PwSCI) from rural Karnataka. With a community re-integration and empowerment approach, the project aims to provide over 500 hours of rehabilitation in the span of 3-4 months for each individual while reducing the cost by 300%. With only 7 rehabilitation centres in the country, APD’s program provides a critical service in restoring SCI patients into functional independent individuals and positive contributors to society.


Currently, India registers 1.5 Million Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) annually, of which around 78% originate in rural geographies, due to a lack of safety measures during livelihood activities. Regarded as an expensive ailment that affects individuals physically, socially, and psychologically, SCI leads to health complications, economic burden, and dependency on others, followed by isolation and premature deaths. With SCI individuals usually falling in the prime working-age group, there is a debilitating impact on the family. 


On receiving the grant, Dr. N S Senthil Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, The Association of People with Disability shared, “With the “Cot to Community” approach, we are able to look at the rehabilitation for those with spinal cord injuries from a 360-degree view. Utilising the collective expertise of our network of stakeholders within the program, we are able to ensure a personalised approach toward each individual and a formulation of a specific rehabilitation plan. We are hoping to cater to people with spinal cord injuries across rural India in the coming years. The recognition by the HCL Grant is an affirmation of the work we are doing at APD. The goal is to continue helping survivors better equip themselves to be functionally independent and productive contributors to society.”


The grant received will be utilised to expand and scale up the project's outreach for the next three years. APD aims to reach close to 15,000 villages, and impact up to 3000 PwSCIs. With 33,000+ stakeholders, the organization reaches out to caregivers, government frontline workers, high-risk individuals & community leaders. The ‘Cot to Community’ program is supported by St.John's hospital & Baptist hospital, Manipal University & The Indian Spinal Injury Centre for its medical & surgical needs, clinical placement & research and national Injury prevention program respectively.


With a robust community-focused approach, the program will be one of the largest health programs targeting PwSCIs in India. Patients from other South Indian states are also admitted to the program.


About The Association of People with Disability (APD)

APD is a pioneering non-profit organisation, established in 1959 by the Late MS. N. S. Hema. APD has impacted over 6 lakh People with Disability from underprivileged communities from remote, rural, and poor socioeconomic backgrounds. Various programs by APD cover 18 out of 21 disabilities stated in the RPWD Act 2016. With a diverse and inclusive team of over 230 members (45% Women and 30% PwD’s), APD reaches out to over 60,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, annually. APD is managed by a professional team of developmental and technical experts overseen by an eminent Board of Governors and Trustees. The Association maintains the highest standards of governance, has been acknowledged by multiple donors and is accredited by independent agencies like the TISS, Credibility Alliance, RCI, and NIPMAN Foundation.


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Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (SCIR) Basketball Team engaging in adaptive sports
Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (SCIR) Basketball Team engaging in adaptive sports
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