There are about 1,500,000 persons with disabilities living in Sri Lanka. About 90% of them live in rural areas. The root cause of disability in developing countries is considered to be poverty and the things it causes like inadequate nutrition, disease, poor drinking water, improper hygiene, accidents, armed conflicts and genetic disorders etc. The per capital income in Sri Lanka is about SL Rs. 221,000 per year.
schools in rural areas have only basic facilities and they do not have
enough qualified teachers. Most children have to walk several miles to
reach the school. The disabled child has to depend on their parents or
an adult in the family to take them to school. There are very little
special facilities for disabled children at normal schools in Sri
Lanka. Therefore most disabled children have very little or no
education at all. Lack of proper education makes it difficult for the
person when grown up to find employment or to engage in some form of
income generating activity. Therefore one of the most important needs
of persons with disabilities is proper education.
with disabilities find it extremely difficult to secure employment in
rural as well as other areas. Lack of education, transport, vocational
training and competition in the labour market are the reasons.
Employers prefer not to employ persons with disabilities thinking that
they are less productive. The most important factor is education. With
a good education, finding employment is not too difficult. If a person
has a good basic education it is easy for him learn a skill and
employers are more willing to hire them.
persons with motor and upper limb disabilities need wheel chairs,
invalid tricycles, artificial limbs etc., so that they can become
mobile and be useful citizens. This requirement of the persons with
disabilities is not fully met by the authorities concerned mainly due
to financial constraints.
Traditionally it is considered a
family's responsibility to look after any member who has a disability.
But in rural areas due to such factors as poverty, lack of knowledge
and lack of facilities to rehabilitate them at home, they are forced to
fall back on welfare schemes operated by the state and NGO's.