Punarbhava as suggested by the name which means 'renewed being' symbolizes an attempt to provide a gateway to information for persons with disability and all concerned with this sector. This portal is an attempt to create a distinct niche in cyber space to find information, discuss issues, network, find employment, look for appliances and assistive devices, seek redressal of grievances, undergo training, research and study, and so much more. Indeed, the sky is no longer the limit, and the route that the portal will take will be determined by the way in which interested users engage with it.
It is a recognized that information holds the key to knowledge, which in turn enables and empowers people and this initiative of Media Lab Asia in collaboration with Rehabilitation Council of India, is envisioned as a medium for persons with disabilities and all related stakeholders to be empowered and to participate fully in the national mainstream.
The user-friendly navigation with large text options ensures that the portal is accessible and responsive to the needs of people in the sector, as a one-stop site for comprehensive and interactive information on disability. The potential users of this portal include
- Persons with disabilities
- Policy makers
- Service providers and people working in the disability sector
- The public at large and interested persons wanting to know about disability and related issues.
The information will be as follows
- National Disability Register: Information on all those citizens who have received certificates from MSJE will be registered and subsequent changes will be made online. The applicant can see status of processing the application on the net. Those who are not registered can also apply online and their applications will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.
- All government orders, laws, circulars, notices and other important information will be available for download from the portal as required.
- Repository of books in Text, Audio & multimedia mode will be available for download on as required basis. In the schools where computer based printing system is available the text in language script (Large print) or Braille script can be printed locally. The ready to use content, which are available with the ministry, the national institutes, national trust, office of the chief commissioner of the disabilities and NGOs working on the disability sector will be acquired. The video/audio/multimedia content thus acquired will be cataloged and stored in web ready format that will be available for download from anywhere including remote/rural areas. Nominal fees will be charged for such transaction.
- All 14,000 block resource centers will be able to access through Internet and interact with different offices.
- A dedicate section will be available for information on professional/personnel and students being trained as specialists. Currently there are 30000 such professionals and estimated fresh registration is 5000 per year.
- The details of all NGOs working in the field of disability in India will be made available in the portal. The proposal for different projects on education, care giving and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities will be uploaded for sponsors to interact with NGOs for possible financing and monitoring etc.
- List of assistive devices available in India including vendor details and ADIP schemes etc. will also be available from the portal. Links with websites of important vendors/disability centers abroad, will be provided.
- The program generated in the studio of RCI will be converted to web ready format dubbed in major Indian languages and will be stored in the portal for downloading by the NGOs.
- Closed user group will be created among the persons with disability and persons engaged in their training education, person care and rehabilitation. It is expected that persons residing in remote/rural areas will benefit much from the same by sharing the experience of other people.
- Training courses will also be available in English in e-Leaning mode. This will be open for registration from overseas as well. All the courses formulated by RCI will be offered though e-Learning. Fees will be charged for online courses.
- Case studies, success stories, role modals and innovative practices.
- Name and CVs of persons with disabilities.
- Short term programmes in disability developed by institutions and NGOs.
- Media gallery (event calendar and forthcoming event)
- Web court
- Media Lab Asia has joined hands with RCI to fill the gap of the availability of information and thus improving the lives of persons with disabilities. The Web portal will open new horizons for persons with disabilities. This is the first ever initiative in India where two Government of India Organizations have joined hands for reaching the unreached and providing them opportunities to fully participate in the social life and become productive member of society. This project itself is a very good example of convergence and can be followed by others also. This collaborative effort will be beneficial in the following ways:
- Better training opportunities to the students, parents, professionals, personnel, etc.
- To upgrade the attitude, knowledge and skills of trainees, trainers, and related professionals and stakeholders in disability prevention and rehabilitation.
- Dissemination of information to persons with disabilities families, and general public.
- To facilitate training through distance mode.
- Sharing of resource materials.
- Experience sharing between various institutions.
- IT access and other hands-on activities for all stakeholders
- Self determination skill building for persons with disabilities
- Career opportunities for persons with disabilities and rehabilitation professionals
- Availability of all disability related authentic information at one place,
- Finding like minded people to share their ideas for initiating own business or sheltered workshops.
- Getting peer and mentor support,
- Gap areas in infrastructure will be visible through the trend analysis of the disability register.
- Gap area in support will be visible which will help the professional and policy makers for planning the programmes for persons with disabilities.
- Requirement for development of Product & Services, research and ICT initiatives etc. will be measured for the benefit of persons with disabilities and appropriate authority will take necessary action accordingly.