Rehab on Wheels (RoW), a doorstep rehabilitation support service that provides accessible and affordable care through its mobile unit, has completed a remarkable 2084 services, serving 710 patients since it first began in November 2022.
Rehab on Wheels (RoW) providing group fitness activities to beneficiaries at the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust, Yelahanka
A joint initiative by the Association of People with Disability (APD) and ABB in India, the service is a first-of-its-kind rehabilitation project for people with disabilities. It aims to reach 3000 disabled people in the next year. Provided free of cost, RoW’s services include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, counselling, aids and appliance measurement, fitment and user training, social security, referral to livelihood opportunities, schooling, and medical/surgical interventions by a team of experts.
The project, codified and replicated in multiple locations where there is a need for rehabilitation, has been funded by ABB in India, as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In the last three months, the RoW has catered to several regions in Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural areas.
Some unique features of the mobile unit include a Sensory Integration and Early Intervention room (for visual and auditory facilitation), a hydraulic lift facility at the rear end of the bus (for easy access for wheelchair users) and a fully functioning electrotherapy unit division that serves as a pain management centre.
A beneficiary seeking KAFO (Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis) treatment inside ROW unit
Babu (45), a stroke survivor and an artist by profession, accesses the mobile rehab service at Nams Snehasadan, a charitable community service centre in MS Palya, Bengaluru. “I am now able to initiate my painting strokes gradually as the strength in my hands is improving. As I now have rehabilitation at my doorstep, I don’t worry about going anywhere to avail this service,” says Babu.
Speaking on the initiative, G.N.V Subba Rao, the Global Head of Operation Centers, shared, “APD and ABB in India, through several iterations, jointly came up with the concept of ‘Rehab on Wheels’ to make affordable rehabilitation centres accessible to those desperately in need. We have already started and hope to reach over 3000 people in the next year. The various services provided through the doorstep mobile unit make the RoW program suitable for a wide range of disabilities and patient groups, and we are happy these services are given free of charge to the needy,” he added.
Talking about the initiative, Dr. NS Senthil Kumar (Ph.D. Rehab), CEO, The Association of People with Disability (APD) shared, “The idea of Rehab on Wheels (RoW) emerged during the pandemic, when the PwDs and elderly were severely affected due to mobility issues. At the time, commuting and cost made rehabilitation inaccessible and unaffordable. The project, therefore, aims to strengthen the support system for PwDs by building an inclusive and sustainable ecosystem for their growth and development. This is done through capacity-building training, sensitizing the government frontline workers and other stakeholders like parents and caregivers, and making the common people more aware of the cause. We are grateful to ABB in India for this project and actively participating from the ideation to the execution process.”
ABB in India has been in partnership with APD for several years, and supports three projects to enable the education and treatment of children and adults with disabilities. This includes the Shradanjali Integrated School, the Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Program for children with disability, and the Rehab on Wheels.
About The Association of People with Disability (APD)
APD is a pioneering non-profit organization, 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% PwDs), 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.
We hope to cover more people by reaching out to their doorsteps and to mitigate the misery of travelling long distances to avail therapy services.
To learn more, visit www.apd-india.org.
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