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Project information

Freedom through mobility: Wheelchairs for India

The right wheelchair can save a life – and change a life. This project will establish trained wheelchair clinics and outreach services in three regions of India so 4,000 disabled people can receive appropriate wheelchairs, improving their health, mobility, and inclusion in education and employment.

July 2017 - January 2019

Charity information: Motivation

Motivation logo
  • Need


    At least one million people in India need a wheelchair. Without one, they are left isolated, with little or no access to healthcare, education or employment, and unable to participate in political, social and family life. They often live in extreme poverty; vulnerable to life-threatening secondary health conditions and invisible in their communities. Furthermore, stigma and extreme discrimination against disabled people in India serves to exacerbate their exclusion and ongoing marginalisation.


    By developing wheelchair clinics and outreach services, 4,000 people will receive wheelchairs designed for the terrain where they live. These wheelchairs will be robust, repairable and individually fitted so they don’t just get people mobile, but keep them healthy too. With the right wheelchair and training in mobility skills, people can play an active role in the community – attending school, or finding working, all of which benefits local economies and reduces discrimination.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the availability of quality wheelchair services in three regions of India


    » Recruit local partners to establish 10 new wheelchair clinics and 25 outreach services across the North, North East and South of India
    » Provide necessary infrastructure for the 10 wheelchair clinics to assess, prescribe, modify and repair wheelchairs
    » Create 10 new wheelchair skills units with ramps, obstacles and rough terrain to be used for wheelchair skills training
    » Work with 25 outreach services to identify local beneficiaries and organise wheelchair fitting camps

    What success will look like

    Memorandum of Understanding signed with 10 wheelchair clinic partners and 25 outreach service partners. Service centres and skills units constructed.

    Aim 2

    Train wheelchair clinic partners to provide wheelchairs to World Health Organization Guidelines


    » Deliver WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package (basic) to 20 wheelchair clinic personnel - two per clinic
    » Deliver WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package (intermediate) to 5 wheelchair clinic personnel so they can fit users with more complex needs
    » Deliver the WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package (managers) to 20 wheelchair service managers to develop plans for sustainability
    » Provide mentoring to wheelchair clinics and outreach service partners via Regional Co-ordinators

    What success will look like

    All wheelchair clinics reviewed using Motivation’s Service Assessment Tool are judged to be 'maturing' meaning skills and knowledge are in place for WHO compliant services.

    Aim 3

    Improve the mobility and independence of 4,000 people with mobility disabilities in India


    » Assess and prescribe 4,000 people with appropriate wheelchairs that are fitted to their individual needs and lifestyle
    » Give users wheelchair skills training to improve their confidence, mobility and independence
    » Follow up with 10% of beneficiaries before end of project (January 2019) to assess progress and impact

    What success will look like

    Beneficiary data, case studies and follow up interviews demonstrate improved mobility, independence and quality of life of beneficiaries.

    Aim 4

    Raise awareness of the importance of appropriate wheelchair provision among partners and government


    » Create materials to promote the importance of appropriate wheelchair provision to new wheelchair service partners
    » Meet and liaise with representatives from Government of India to encourage ongoing support and funding for wheelchair services
    » Provide mentoring and support to wheelchair clinics and outreach service partners and train them on developing plans for sustainability

    What success will look like

    10 wheelchair clinic partners and 25 outreach service partners will provide appropriate wheelchair provision and have plans for future sustainability.

  • Impact


    Once healthy and mobile, disabled people can play active roles in society – such as going to school, or finding work, which has a positive impact on the productivity and inclusivity of local economies. For each disabled person we support we estimate that a further three family members benefit. Long-term the success of this project will be demonstrated by the Government of India investing in wheelchair provision having seen the benefit to disabled people, communities and the wider economy.


    We will work in some remote locations and the success of this project therefore hinges on developing and mentoring local partners. Our Regional Co-ordinators are experienced in capacity building and are themselves trained clinicians. We will evaluate the quality and experience of all partners, including financial health checks, before starting this project. All partners will be given training and mentoring and will sign contracts to ensure their alignment with the project aims and strategy.


    Motivation will produce monthly, quarterly and a final report detailing the progress of activities, the number of beneficiaries reached, including beneficiary stories, and photographs detailing the impact of the project activities. A dedicated contact for reporting to donors will be provided.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Wheelchair clinic set up Create 10 clinics with assessment beds, privacy curtains, filing cabinets etc
      £8,000 Wheelchair skills units Create 10 units with ramps, obstacles and rough terrain to be used for wheelchair skills training
      £3,600 Tools for wheelchair clinics Provide 10 clinics with equipment needed to adjust, modify and repair wheelchairs
      £20,500 Mentoring and tech support Regular support visits from Regional Coordinators to all clinics and outreach services
      £3,900 Awareness raising materials Posters and leaflets to recruit partners and promote appropriate wheelchair provision to government

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Anonymous (wheelchairs & training) £245,700 Guaranteed
  • Background


    India has a growing economy but 40% of the population lives in poverty. 27 million have a disability and at least one million need a wheelchair, many affected by the Polio epidemic. In the North East the challenges facing disabled people are exacerbated by inaccessible terrain and conflict, which has displaced thousands and increased incidence of disability. Wheelchair provision in India is currently of poor quality, causing ill-health and exclusion of disabled people in school and employment.


    4,000 adults and children with mobility disabilities (most likely post-Polio, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy) living in North, North-East, and South India. The majority of spinal cord injuries in India are caused by road accidents and falls, and life expectancy for those affected is limited due to complications such as pressure ulcers and urinary infections. Disabled people in India typically have limited education and low economic participation. 80% are estimated to live in poverty.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Motivation has worked with wheelchair clinics, outreach partners and NGO’s in India since 2010 to successfully implement projects to improve the mobility and independence of disabled people. We have 26 years experience designing wheelchairs for use in low-income countries and are proud to work with the World Health Organization helping to develop guidelines and training to drive up the standards of wheelchair provision across the sector. Last year our work impacted on 70,000 people globally.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Vinod Krishnan

    Vinod is our Asia Regional Director, will oversee this project. He has worked in disability for over 13 years and is based in Bangalore.


could create one wheelchair clinic with assessment beds and privacy curtains ready for use.

With this wheelchair, I am much more mobile and can get around the fields easily. I feel prouder and am more of a presence in the community.

Srinvas, India