A sizeable number of persons in India are handicapped. Government of India has been providing relief and help in rehabilitating them so that they stand on their own feet economically and also prove useful to the society.
Vocational rehabilitation of the handicapped person is a process which enables him to secure suitable employment which he could retain and advance a permanent base with an ultimate aim of integrating or re-integrating him in the society.
In 1968 an agreement was signed between the Government of India and the Government of USA for setting up of two Vocational Rehabilitation Centres, one at Mumbai and other at Hyderabad for assessing vocational and psychological needs of the handicapped persons and to render rehabilitation assistance to them. At present 21 Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for Handicapped have been functioning one each at Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Patna, Puducherry, Ranchi, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Una, and Vadodara. Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped at Vadodara is exclusively for the women with disabilities. Addresses of these VRCs along with their telephone numbers, etc. have been given below.
In order to facilitate speedy rehabilitation of the handicapped, seven Skill Training Workshops (STWs) have also been attached to seven VRCs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram for imparting non-formal training in the trades best suited to an individual disabled person. Rehabilitation services of the VRCs have also been extended to the disabled persons at their door steps living in rural areas through the mobile camps and Rural Rehabilitation Extension Centres (RRECs). These RRECs have been set up in eleven blocks under five VRCs namely, Chennai, Kanpur, Kolkata, Ludhiana and Mumbai.
Services rendered to the Handicapped Persons by the VRCs:
1. Interviewing adult handicapped persons for knowing their personal, social, family, educational, economic and vocational background causing adjustment problems.
2. Evaluation of persons with disabilities to assess their physical efficiencies, measure their psychological strengths and weaknesses in respect of their intelligence, aptitude, areas of interest, psychomotor dexterity, personality traits and areas of adjustment to unfold their potentials.
3. Assessing the residual capacities, attributes, and functional skills of different categories of handicapped.
4. Examination of the handicapped persons by a panel of medical specialists to identify the degree of disability and functional capacities and suggest remedial measures.
5. Testing of the handicapped persons on the job capabilities in different trades sanctioned under VRC's programmes such as Electronics, Electrical, General Mechanic, Radio & TV repair, Commercial Practice, Air-conditioning & refrigeration, Automobile, Cutting and Tailoring, Computer Applications, Wood Work & Chair Canning, Arts & Crafts, Screen Printing, Photography, Metal Trades, Secretarial Practice, Painting, etc.
6. Imparting workshop training to develop vocational adjustment in respect of their work habits, on the job sustainability, to ensure their job adjustment best suited to their strengths and weaknesses.
7. Providing assistance to physically challenged persons in the Centre for preparing their vocational plan for enhancing their levels of knowledge & skills suited to local job market needs and also assisting, guiding and motivating them for channelizing them towards self-employment.
8. Imparting non formal in-plant training and tailor made module based vocational training to Persons with Disabilities for skill building and making them employable.
9. Sponsoring and assisting the handicapped persons to utilize the facilities of reservations against the seats in various educational/training institutions.
10. Sponsoring the handicapped persons to the employers against vacancies notified to the VRCs and taking follow up action.
11. Recommending the handicapped persons for grant of loans by the concerned financial institutions under differential rate of interest or setting up of different ventures under various self-employment schemes.