Dipshikha aims to provide free services to people with disability. For the ILPD project, there are only three people working with 100 children.
Joney: We provide free services to the people with disability; our project will give us our salary, but we don’t get any money from the families we work with. Everything, including education material, is free. There is one exception; if someone is a critical patient and he/she needs a doctor consultation, he/she or their family pays 20% of the costs for consultation and medicine. For example, if the the total cost is 100 Bangladeshi taka [Bangladeshi taka is the currency in Bangladesh], we receive 20 Bangladeshi taka from the person or his/her family, and 80 Bangladeshi taka is paid by the project. 20 Bangladeshi taka is not a lot because if the family is working, and they are getting 300 or 400 Bangladeshi taka a month. In addition, the family does not have to pay us back immediately.
Our first priority are families with disability who are not able to spend money for treating the disability. In a four-month period, we go door to door assessing the possible recipients of the services of physiotherapy from Dipshikha and then select the patients who are able to receive the service and those who cannot. If someone is still healthy or their family has enough money to support them, he/she doesn’t get this free service.
We choose four or five hundred families for the awareness program, and for the physiotherapy program, we work with only 100 children. Our team is very small and we are only three people: I am the physiotherapist and I have two assistant physiotherapists. This is our physiotherapist team for 100 children. We give these families home tasks, meaning our team will go to their homes and teach the parents or caregivers the kind of exercises the person with disability should be doing at home. Monthly, we follow-up with them. The caregivers are usually their parents or their grandparents; we have many cases in which the father gets married twice and refuse to recognize his child from his previous marriage and the grandparents take care of the children.