Joney and his team at Dipshikha measuring leg for assisitive device.


  • Disability in Dinajpur District

When Joney and his team began the physiotherapy exercises in the rural area of Dinajpur, not everyone was interested. Johnny had his own ways of marketing.


Joney: It was very difficult when we began with physiotherapy because no one was interested in hearing about physiotherapy exercises; they didn’t believe that this could bring them any change. When we started with 15 sub-centers, we would tell them we will come to the sub-center, but no one came, or sometimes, two or three people came. I began by working with some patients with better physical conditions, meaning those who improved very fast. I would go to their home regularly and sometimes I will inform them to come to the center. These patients were showing visible changes in their body very quickly!

Everyone in the village was able to see that a boy who was not able to walk began to walk. Another boy who was not able to do any type of weight bearing, could do so after our physiotherapy sessions. The people in the village were seeing the changes. I was promoting physiotherapy to the parents at the same time; I would tell the parents to show to people that their child is improving, and if they do so, I would work with the child more so that their child recovers faster. If the parents are going to Dipshikha’s sub-center with their child and someone asks where they are going, the parents would tell them “I am going to Dipshikha because my child with disability is improving.” This marketing was useful for us, and now, it is much easier to reach out to parents.


Assistive device distribution for Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis.

We do see the changes 100%! In the past, the teachers did not allow people with disability into their school, but it is now easier when people with disability go to school and say “Dipshikha sent us, please admit us to school” and the teachers will let them go to school. The stigma towards people with disability is also changing; we are getting people to say the names of the people with disability: a specific name, like my name is Johnny, your name is Miki. They are starting to refer to the people with disability by their names. Little by little, things are changing. This time when we went to a village, they say things like “he is the doctor for people with disability!”