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The narrative around building community resilience through programme interventions tends to be rather prescriptive and one that is conceived in absolute terms. There is little or no thought given to people’s vulnerabilities and the sense of individual agency. This puts individuals and communities already in distress at an even greater disadvantage. It makes them feel powerless to act yet holding them responsible for their plight.

Building true resilience requires a different approach from that espoused by the top down programme intervention model. Such an approach needs to be inherently people centric where communities are able to come to terms with issues facing them and where they are able to work together to articulate and find solutions to their problems.

This requires communities to be fully engaged and to be leading the process. It calls for support and facilitation not prescription. It calls for empathy not expert opinion. It calls for a deeper understanding of the community processes through which communities evolve and not resilience or the lack of it.

Disability Entrepreneurship And Leadership (DEAL) Foundation works with people with disabilities and the communities they live in across the districts of Bengaluru and Gadag