Agra: The first world Congress of Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) of the disabled ended in Agra on Wednesday with a call for partnerships development for the promotion and implementation of CBR across the globe.

Three day Congress, which was attended by some 1200 delegates from 86 countries, also called for coordination between stakeholders, including Disabled People's Organisation (DPOS) in collaboration with the CBR global network.

Adopting what is termed as Agra Declaration, the Congress said the CBR should be part of development policies and programmes at the local, national and international levels.

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is a term collectively used for numerous schemes and policies aimed at enhancing the quality of life of differently abled persons and their families by ensuring their participation in various social and economic practices.

Speaking at the Congress, Keshav Desiraju, Additional Secretary Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, stressed the need for government to work in collaboration with various NGOs working for the welfare of disabled.

He said disability and illness were different from each other and needed different approaches. Malcolm MacLachian of the Centre of Global Health and School of Psychology, Trinity College, England said CBR should not only be viewed as a tool to improve the lives of disabled but also a way forward towards making policy changes.

Chapal Khashabis of the WHO called for a triple track approach that would include rehabilitation, rights and reforms. Dr Helander, noted proponent of CBR said the Taj Mahal should be made accessible to disabled people.

Nepa Settakorn from Thailand suggested that participating countries should adopt 'massive open online courses for providing human resources in the field'.

The Congress declared that the second global Congress could be held in Malaysia in 2016.


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