Family of Disabled (FOD) was founded in 1992 by Rajinder Johar, himself a quadriplegic who has been bedridden for the last 22 years. Based in New Delhi, FOD’s mission is to build and nurture the capacities of persons with disabilities through different sustainable interventions for improving their quality of life, making them self-reliant and facilitating their mainstreaming.
The organization aims to enable disabled people with low socio-economic status earn their livelihood, promote quality education among children, encourage artists and artisans with disabilities to showcase their talent, and create awareness on issues related to disability. FOD’s vision is, “Every person with disability leading a dignified, financially secure and productive life.”
One of FOD’s major projects is the Apna Rozgaar Scheme for socio-economic rehabilitation, which was started in 1998. Under this scheme, disabled people who are illiterate, unskilled and poor, with no opportunity of getting employed either in private or government sector, are economically rehabilitated by being initiated into a trade of their choice. This enables them to financially support themselves as well as their dependents. FOD was conferred with the prestigious Helen Keller Award 2003 exclusively for this service.
Under Gyan Path, financial assistance is provided for disabled students and primarily covers students whose parents cannot afford to educate their children with disabilities. This facility is also extended to those families in which either of the parents has disability. A family having a disabled member has to expend on a variety of different heads owing to the disability and also has to face problems in feeding the family due to high unemployment. Once the economic burden is lifted and the parents are counselled about the benefits of education, they let the child continue his/her education, enabling them to secure a dignified and brighter future.
FOD also publishes a quarterly magazine, The Voice, which covers various disability-related issues and contains information about different organisations working in this field, success stories, inspiring interviews, poems, books and movie reviews, classifieds, events and news. The Voice was published biannually since the inception of FOD in 1992, and became a quarterly in 2009.
Founder Rajinder Johar says, “The parameter of any civilised/cultured society is judged by the amount of care they give to their less fortunate and less privileged brethren. If they seek help there is nothing wrong but if they are ignored and neglected then certainly it is.”