Rural Development Trust, (RDT), has been carrying out need based welfare and integrated programs of development for rural poor and needy families in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh for the past 44 years. RDT has one of the few specialized mental and physical health care programs in the country, including dedicated Cerebral Palsy centers in Kuderu and Bathalipalli. The program not only offers children the opportunity to learn to overcome their disability and integrate into an often prejudice society, but offers the surrounding community and parents of mentally and physically disabled children the support and education they need to adapt to a new way of life.
Akshaya Trust is located in the southern Indian ‘village city’ of Madurai. Though inconceivable to western society, it is a common occurrence to hear of utterly poor families abandoning their mentally ill and disabled family members to fend for themselves on the street once they’ve reached a certain age and level of independence. Without the support for families offered through programs by such organizations such as RDT, this occurrence would become even more common. Beginning first as a mobile soup kitchen several years ago, the first phase of a new campass has recently been opened, and Akshaya Trust now has some 450 male and female patients who were all taken directly off of the streets of Madurai. Patients are bussed into the campass, immediately shaven and thoroughly bathed, then placed in a daily routine of having three fresh meals daily, given free access to rehabilitation programs, medical staff and treatment, bathing facilities, a shared dining hall and basic accommodation. Patients are involved in all forms of daily tasks to benefit all members of the campass, including laundry, gardening and basic housekeeping. Akshaya offers to rehabilitate the patients with the intent of returning them to their families, a system that has been successful in a number of cases since opening it’s doors in May 2013.