There are 26.8 million disabled people in India many of whom need to be cared for by an unpaid family member. Unpaid care-giving has become one of the most important social and economic policy issues worldwide.
How are we helping
Supporting Carers Worldwide to establish carer forums that can engage with government at State and national levels to ensure that carers are included in social protection systems and receive medical care and other services.
About the project
Many carers, far from feeling supported as they give help to loved ones in need, are at a disadvantage: deterioration in their own health, financial strain and social stigma and isolation.
With support from the Commonwealth Foundation, Carers Worldwide conducted a three-year project to help India’s carers at the local government level (2014-17). The project enabled their inclusion into local authority welfare schemes, provided carers with greater access to medical care, and improved their ability to earn an income outside of their caring responsibilities. An external evaluation of the work confirmed its success and recommended that it be replicated on a national and international level and take place for a greater length of time
This new project will continue this work and create a stronger civic voice that will advocate for the rights of family carers at every level in Indian society. This will be achieved by setting up four state level carers forums and an Indian national alliance of carers and equipping these and existing carers organisations to engage policy makers at district, state and national levels. This will ensure that significant and sustainable change is made possible through the strengthening of the social provisions and protection carers need to continue on in their caring role.
At the end of the project it is expected that carers will be better placed to enjoy the rights and the services due to them, leading to an improvement in their social and economic well-being. It is anticipated that the concerns of carers will continue to be mainstreamed in government plans and policies at the local, state and national level.
Carers Worldwide was established in 2011 to address the issues facing carers in developing countries. Carers Worldwide works in partnership with local organisations to bring about improved quality of life for carers and those for whom they care. It draws attention to the needs of carers amongst local and international organisations, nongovernmental organisations and governments. It works to enable these organisations to include carers into their existing programmes and to initiate activities to meet the needs of carers at all levels – emotional, physical and economic. To date, Carers Worldwide has worked with over 35,000 carers and their families dealing with illness, disability and mental health challenges in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The Foundation is the Commonwealth's agency for civil society. We support people’s participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms for civic voices and opportunities for sharing expertise.